YouTube's Fascination With 360-degree Videos Extends To Ads

If you've never watched a 360-degree video on YouTube, you should check one out, they're pretty nifty. They're so neat that Google is extending the functionality to advertisers so they can deliver more immersive ads on Chrome and the mobile YouTube app for Android and iOS devices, the company announced in a blog post today.

For advertisers wondering why they'd want to go through the bother of making a 360-degree video, Google is quick to point out that existing campaigns that have been testing the feature have been "impressive" so far. Providing some empirical data to the claim, Google says that Coca-Cola's 360-degree video celebrating the 100th anniversary of its iconic bottle design outperformed standard in-stream video ad view-through rates by 36 percent, a not insignificant figure.

Coca-Cola 360-Degree

The 360-degree video ads work the same as they do for regular 360-degree videos. When viewing one, you can use your mouse or move your mobile device to explore each and every angle as if you're actually there in person. It's a trip and it's especially well suited for VR headsets like Google's Cardboard.

Whether it's an ad or a regular video you're making, if you want 360-degree technology you'll need a compatible 360-degree camera. Your options include the Ricoh Theta, Kodak SP360, Giroptic 360cam, or IC Real Tech Allie, all of which are either available to purchase now or soon will be.

As previously mentioned, 360-degree videos are currently compatible with Chrome and mobile devices, though we've also had luck getting them to load on Firefox. The videos will still load on unsupported browsers, like Internet Explorer and Opera, but instead of an interactive 360-degree experience, you'll see a sort of warped panoramic view.