At VidCon 2017, Google announced a whole bunch of new stuff and features for YouTube, including a new VR format, updates to the YouTube application, and availability of YouTube TV in more markets.
Google realized that filming 360-degree videos isn’t an easy task for most content creators. Not only is shooting content in 360 a tough task, it’s also expensive since it requires investing in costly equipment. So in order to address this issue and make VR accessible to more users, Google has introduced a new video format for VR called VR180. As the name suggests, VR180 allows shooting and watching content in 180-degree — unlike traditional VR format which provides full 360-degree experience.
While you won’t be able to see what’s behind you in 180-degree videos, according to Google, the new format will offer the same 3D immersive experience you would expect a good VR experience to deliver. Switching to the new format should also help reduce data usage since 180° footage will presumably consume less bandwidth. Google says they are working with camera manufacturers like LG, Yi and Lenovo to build new VR180 cameras which will cost “as little as a couple hundred dollars”. You will be able to enjoy 180-degree VR videos through the official YouTube app with Google Cardboard, Daydream or PlayStation VR.
Google also announced some new updates to the official YouTube application that will be rolled out in coming weeks. For instance, a new update will enable the YouTube app to better adapt to a wide variety of video formats. Moreover, whether you’re watching a horizontal, square or vertical video, the new dynamic player will automatically adapt itself to the size of the video to provide a seamless watching experience.
One more feature that is finally coming to the YouTube mobile application is the ability to share videos with friends and family right from the YouTube application. Up until now, the built-in sharing feature was only available in Canada but Google has announced that the feature will be roll-out in more regions in the coming weeks, with the feature first going live in Latin America followed by the US.
Meanwhile, Google is also expanding the availability of its new YouTube TV service to more markets. In the coming weeks, the YouTube TV service will be available in Dallas-Fort Worth, Washington, D.C., Houston, Atlanta, Phoenix, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne and Charlotte.
Finally, Google is also working on bringing more original content to YouTube Red Originals, with the company promising 12 new projects coming soon to the service.
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