Vimeo Is Adding 360-Degree Video Capabilities

As Facebook expands its own offering of the format

The platform will let creators upload, share and sell 360 video. Vimeo
Headshot of Marty Swant

Vimeo has added 360-degree video capabilities, which could help it catch up with competitors such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook as more brands and content creators test out the emerging medium.

Vimeo announced today it will let creators upload, share and sell 360 video on the platform, saying it thinks creators already using Vimeo could help the format catch on more broadly.

“Vimeo’s creator community is known for pioneering new video formats and pushing the boundaries of storytelling,” said Anjali Sud, svp and gm of Vimeo’s creator platform, in a statement. “With this launch, we hope to usher in a new wave of immersive content that sets the standard for cinematic quality and powerful narratives in a 360 environment. We believe Vimeo creators are the missing piece to taking 360 video from nascent to mainstream.”

Along with letting users upload videos of up to 8K in resolution, Vimeo said it will let creators add metadata, capture email leads and insert calls to action from within an embedded player. (For those not used to shooting and editing in 360, it also has classes that teach the basics.)

Vimeo is among the last of the major video platforms to offer 360 video. Now the question is which platforms will it catch on with the most.

Users will be able to watch 360 content via Vimeo’s mobile apps, along with VR headsets including Zeiss VR One, Samsung Gear VR and Google View, with Oculus Rift and HTC Vive compatibility to follow.

To promote its 360 content, Vimeo will be featuring the platform at various events throughout the year starting with South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.

Vimeo is among the last of the major video platforms to offer 360 video. Now the question is which platforms will it catch on with the most. And while there’s been a lot of hype about virtual reality and 360 video over the past year, some wonder how much people actually want to watch it. According to a report last week from IBB Consulting, 71 percent of adults surveyed said they weren’t interested in VR.

Meanwhile, tech companies are moving ahead with making headsets and software more available. Last week, during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Google’s head of VR said the company plans to equip “tens of millions” of smartphones with Google’s Daydream VR software this year.

Today, Facebook also expanded its own 360 offering, introducing Facebook 360 for Samsung Gear VR. According to Facebook, the company already has more than 25 million 360-degree photos and more than 1 million 360 videos on the platform.

“Ever since 360 photos and videos came to Facebook, people around the world have embraced these new formats,” Facebook product director Brent Ayrey and software engineer Christopher Wong wrote. “360 can take you into the action with your favorite sports teams, bring you behind the scenes at awards shows, transport you to beautiful places around the world and put you at the center of breaking news moments like never before.

@martyswant Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.