Friday’s inauguration was the first one during the Facebook Live era and news organizations took full advantage as 60 million people on Facebook generated 208 million likes, posts, comments and shares related to the event.
(Of course, that doesn’t mean everyone in that tally necessarily liked the fact that Donald Trump became the 45th U.S. president that day.)
Meanwhile, Saturday’s Women’s March was the biggest day ever for Facebook 360 Photo, according to Facebook, which published a blog post detailing how Facebook Live 360 was used throughout the weekend.
USA Today, NBC News, RYOT and Fox News went live in 360 degrees for more than two hours to cover the official inauguration of President Trump, according to Facebook. Fox News also used the technology to broadcast live in 360 degrees from Sean Hannity’s set at the Inaugural Ball. (And we at TheWrap used it for behind-the-scenes interviews.)
“Our live coverage of Inauguration activities combined unique 360-degree views with a 2D close-up, allowing our audience to experience the historic event like never before. We are proud to have been one of a select few media outlets providing this unprecedented 360-degree livestream on Facebook,” USA Today VR/360-degree video director Robert Padavick told Facebook.
Fox News SVP Jason Ehrich added, “Going live in 360 at the Freedom Ball offered a unique perspective on this historic night. It brought our viewers up onto the stage with our Fox News hosts, and enabled us to share the moment with them in an unprecedented way.”
During the Women’s March, NBC News streamed the day’s guest speakers and concerts while RYOT used Facebook Live 360 for the march, but the company’s CMO Molly Swenson seems to wish they also used it for the inauguration.
“Short of being there, live 360 is the closest we can get to achieving a real sense of presence. If I’d had live 360 capabilities 24 hours earlier than we did, during the clashes on Inauguration Day, undoubtedly viewers would have flinched and ducked, heart pounding as fight or flight instincts kicked in, the way I did when concussion grenades were thrown into the streets by riot police, mere feet away from us,” Swenson told Facebook.