Vimeo launches 360-degree video

Vimeo has just added the ability to upload and watch 360-degree videos. This way it is expanding the places to watch VR experiences in addition to extending options to sell or rent experiences directly to audiences.

Vimeo marks its rivals like YouTube and Facebook, two of the leading social network by users, in offering the power to upload and share 360-degree videos, the basis for video in VR. However, its pedigree as a center for independent filmmakers and its track record of offering creators tools to improve their content and make money off it makes it stand out among its competitors.

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You can say that Facebook and YouTube want to put 360 and VR in the hands of all. Vimeo, on the other hand, wants to make it something solely for filmmakers. Anjali Sud, senior vice president and general manager of Vimeo's Creator Platform, expressed:

Right now, it is expensive and time-consuming to make 360 video. Most [people] can only do it when they're working with big brands.Content is the missing piece that would take immersive stories from nascent to mainstream.

VR is an entertainment format that makes use of headsets to create the illusion of transporting you to another place. Hefty investments in VR hardware by tech firms such as Samsung and Facebook have spurred hype around this technology. However, it is worth noting that this platform still lacks standard practices as in how to pay for the things you watch in VR, especially outside the gaming world

This move by Vimeo's makes it one of the first worldwide marketplaces for creators to sell 360-degree videos straight to viewers. Vimeo Pro and Business members can go for choose options for renting, purchasing or subscribing via the firm’s Vimeo on Demand service. Creators benefit from 90 percent of the revenue after transaction costs.

Viewers can watch 360 video in Vimeo mobile apps at the launch that includes Android-powered and Apple devices which can be with compatible headsets such as the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream. According to the firm, support for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive is on its way. 

Vimeo will allow uploads of 360 videos in up to 8K resolution and playback at a number of  quality levels for creators including high-definition offline viewing in its mobile apps. It offers a plethora of customization settings such as embedding options. 

Vimeo will present the new technology at the SXSW festival in Austin, which starts March 10.