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Is virtual reality the future of social media?

John Murray

Virtual reality content has started to make an impression on social media, and looks like it will grow in the future.

In 2016 new virtual reality systems are

available or will soon be launched, including the Samsung Gear, Oculus Rift, PlayStation and Microsoft systems. VTime is a social media start-up based in Liverpool that is in beta development stage for the Samsung Gear VR system.

The downside of many VR systems is that they are expensive, but VTime is creating a version that can be used on Google Cardboard. Google cardboard has a headset that is, as its name suggests made from cardboard. These headsets and the more rugged plastic versions are available from about £5 to £20. A smartphone is mounted in the headset to view 3D images, with the gyroscope features of the Android or IPhone used for virtual reality interactions.

On vTime people create avatars that inhabit a virtual world where they can talk with other users in various environments, including the wilderness and outer space. Users can upload photographs to share. All navigation is done by moving the head.

Facebook owns the Oculus Rift VR system and has started adding 360-degree VR videos to its pages. These videos can be viewed without a headset on a computer by dragging the mouse or a finger on tablets and smartphones to change the viewing angle.

Anyone can add a 360 video to their Facebook page. This opens new possibilities for promoting brands on Facebook pages.

VR is in its early days, so it is too soon for it to be a major component of content marketing. The equipment needed to film and edit 360 degree videos is expensive, but it is worth considering to make your Facebook page stand out. Virtual reality could indeed be the future of social media.

John is every inch the wordsmith and loves a game of Scrabble above all else. With experience writing for newspapers, John’s time at university was spent studying Creative Writing – something which comes across in his love of the pun.

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