YouTube is now an immerse video platform. On Friday, the streaming site enabled native support for 360-degree video, giving users the ability to upload clips that offer a point-of-view experience reminiscent of Google Maps’ Street View feature.

For YouTube, 360-degree video is another attempt to develop new ways of connecting with its audience. Earlier this year the company began offering limited support for multi-angle video. The debut of 360-degree video is the next step and a new benchmark for the company, which wants users to experience videos — not just watch them.

You can see YouTube’s new 360-degree video feature in action in a half dozen clips posted to the company’s “Creators” channel. That’s a small selection, but one that YouTube hopes will expand quickly as consumers warm to 360-degree camera technology.

Though there are several 360-degree cameras on the market right now, they tend to be pricey.

YouTube is working with camera makers to ensure that 360-degree videos shot on their cameras will be formatted to work on the site.
Initially, YouTube’s new 360-degree video feature will be available on Android devices and HTML5 desktop browsers. But the company hopes to bring it to Apple’s iOS devices soon, as well.


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