In its never-ending quest to become the main destination to watch online video, Facebook has announced it’ll launch live 360-degree videos.
The new video format is simply called “Live 360” and launches on Tuesday. For its debut, Facebook’s teaming up with National Geographic for a special live 360-degree experience from the Mars Desert Research facility in Utah.
The Live 360 video broadcast will let viewers watch eight scientists emerge from pods that they’ve been living in for the past 80 days. The experiment was created to simulate life on Mars and give scientists insight on the tolls of being isolated from humans for an extended period of time.
According to a Facebook blog post, the Live 360 will also provide an immersive look into their living quarters, what it’s like for the scientists to put on their space suits and a ride on a rover.
There will also be a Q&A with “science experts, writers and thinkers” who will be fielding questions from the comments.
The introduction of Live 360 videos is a step toward furthering Facebook’s virtual reality vision, but the feature will be limited at first.
Facebook says more pages will get the feature through the Live API in the coming months, but a broader rollout for all pages and personal profiles won’t happen until next year.
Facebook Live 360 seems like the natural next step for the social network’s video ambitions, seeing as the company already is a power player when it comes to 360-degree and live videos.