Facebook Debuts Web-Based VR Experiences Within Standard News Feed

Now, when you browse your traditional News Feed, you will now have the ability to enter virtual reality

Less a month since Marketing Land reported that Facebook was testing web-based VR within News Feed posts, the social network debuted examples of brands who have developed VR apps that people are able to interact with through Facebook’s standard site and mobile apps.  These VR-enabled posts have been labeled by Facebook as “360 experiences.”

These 360 Experiences were created using Facebook’s React VR web development framework, and allows people to use them through a desktop or mobile browser that supports WebVR.  But for the time being, WebVR support on Facebook remains limited among brands and developers.

“We’ve started testing native React VR integration and experience playback within Facebook News Feed. Although we’re still in the experimentation phase, we’re inspired by the potential to let even more people experience quality VR content — wherever they may be,” according to a post published on Friday to Facebook-owned VR company Oculus’s blog.

Creative Shop, the Occulus and Facebook’s in-house creative agency, worked with Sony and digital agency AvatarLabs to create a web-based, interactive VR experience to promote the new Sony film, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.”  This VR experience sets people on a scavenger hunt within a virtual tree house.  Although this is similar to the 360 videos found on Facebook, on mobile, people can tap the screen or move their phones to pan around it.  If you’re on desktop, people have to drag and pan to change their view.  But unlike the 360-videos, people are able to tap or click on objects within the experience.

By bringing VR witin its traditional site ad apps, Facebook might be able to expose more users to the fledgling medium and eventually bring them into the world of full full virtual world through Oculus’s VR headsets.  By allowing users to experience VR within Facebook, the company might be able to entice more brands and others to devlope VR experiences for the social network.  At this time,  VR hasn’t achieved enough scale for many marketers, allowing them to explore how to bring their VR apps to the masses.

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