You spin me round

No, this blog’s not about Dead or Alive’s 1984 hit, but instead Etajha Gilmer assesses a new feature from YouTube that looks set to keep the video streaming behemoth miles ahead of its competitors.

YouTube 360 is hands down one of the most exciting and innovative features to come from the video service in quite some time.

It’s a Google streaming service that lets you look in any direction, providing an experience you would not be able to get anywhere else. Imagine watching the Rugby World Cup and being able to see any part of the pitch you desire from any angle. Saturday Night Live created a 360 video for its 40th anniversary special and gave viewers at home the front row experience. You are exposed to a completely new side of live events.  What you see is in your hands – literally.

YouTube 360 videos can be viewed while using a Chrome browser by tapping or dragging around the video. If you are watching on an Android device, you simply move your device in the direction you want to see and you feel like you are in the video, experiencing the event as it happens.

My first time watching a YouTube 360 on my laptop I watched the Tomorrowland video. Within thirty seconds I ended up staring at the DJ’s feet and struggled to figure out how to fix my view. On my phone, however, I immediately fell in love. I felt as if I was standing in Belgium on the festival grounds, which is simply fantastic as a viewer.

I can see YouTube 360 videos being used for travel bloggers to provide their followers a more interactive experience. The viewer can wander and explore different parts of the location as they wish. YouTube 360 videos also become excellent marketing tool for estate agents. The videos provide a realistic tour of a property allowing the client to focus on parts of the property they deem important and necessary.

In addition to the SNL video above, here’s four more that I think are excellent examples of just how amazing the new feature is:

Oh, and as a little bonus here’s the aforementioned ‘You Spin me Round’:

Harris » You spin me round