We spotted some references to 360-degree videos in a YouTube APK Teardown last month, and now it's live. Google has highlighted several channels that have already published the first 360-degree videos, which are essentially moving Photospheres. They work on desktop Chrome and in the Android app. Check out the playlist below.
The first few videos with support for 360-degree views come from the likes of Red Bull and the TomorrowWorld music festival. You can load the videos up on Android, and pan around simply by moving the device. On the desktop, you can click and drag as the video plays to look around. The YouTube app will only load these videos in 360-degree mode if you're running Jelly Bean, Kitkat, or Lollipop (so pretty much everyone). It's very awesome on Android, but sometimes the click-and-drag in Chrome can be wonky.
The video quality goes up to 4k on these demo videos, but you'll need a special spherical camera to contribute any 360-degree videos yourself. Google recommends the Bublcam, Giroptic’s 360cam, IC Real Tech’s Allie, Kodak’s SP360 and the RICOH THETA. These will all cost you at least a few hundred bucks. The effects are undeniably cool, though.
- YouTube Creators Blog