Virtual Reality, or at least 360-degree content, has become the new hot topic in entertainment. Of course, this means conquering new terrain for YouTube powered by Google. While limited to non-interactive content, YouTube VR markets itself as a way to experience new worlds first-hand. How literally in your face. Now we are introducing new ways to experience Virtual Reality, either alone or with your virtual friends and strangers.
This is not a groundbreaking expansion, but the availability of YouTube VR on the Samsung Gear VR is still remarkable, especially for Samsung's Oculus-powered Handy VR platform. YouTube VR is already available on Google's Daydream, HTC's VIVE and even Sony's PlayStation VR. And while Gear VR users have always been able to watch 360-degree YouTube videos through their VR web browser, Gear VR now makes at least one dedicated app legitimate.
YouTube also introduces a new way to make VR more than just a lonely activity. In the YouTube VR app, now available on the Gear VR, you'll find a new "Watch Together" icon under the playback controls. This allows multiple users to watch the same VR video together and talk about it.
And what exactly will you see together? YouTube VR says it already has over 800,000 experiences and adds some exclusive content this summer. These range from backstage access to Portugal. The man and Hayley Kiyoko spent a day with the historic Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad to watch SoKrispyMedia playing a video game. YouTube is pushing for more and more VR content, both 360 and 180 degrees, to position itself in this relatively new market. So young that there are no "influencers" from YouTube VR for good or bad to whip up a drama.