Virtual reality 360 degree photos and videos are now supported by WordPress.com. Powering over 26% of the web, WordPress is the world’s most popular online publishing platform.
A recent update on WordPress.com’s official blog confirmed that virtual reality media is now supported. This means that any website powered by WordPress.com can embed photospheres and videospheres, allowing viewers to wear their favourite VR headset and view the embedded content with the correct scale and perspective through the headset. Regular photos and panoramas are also viewable in VR. At this time it isn’t clear if 3D formats are supported.
WordPress blogging software can already support VR through various plugins, but WordPress.com, the hosted version of the software, wants to make the process as straightforward as possible. WordPress.com aims to enable easy creation of a blog or website without any technical knowledge. “Our goal is to make publishing VR content as simple as publishing text or photos to the web”, explains WordPress’s Toni Schneider. “Just add VR content to your site and anyone with a web browser can instantly enjoy it”.
Any desktop browser will allow you to look around 360° content with a mouse or touch input, but on a phone browser or a webVR enabled desktop browser, there is now a VR option, rendering the content correctly in full 3D mode. It is already functional with Cardboard, Gear, Daydream, Rift, and Vive, the company says, though in our testing it seems the Gear VR and Daydream implementations simply treat those headsets as Cardboard (lacking any of Gear VR and Daydream’s specific VR enhancements).
Schneider also confirmed that the functionality will come to self-hosted WordPress sites “within the next few weeks” via Jetpack, an essential plugin that enables many WordPress.com features.
This is a major step forward for creating and documenting stories in VR, as the WordPress.com network receives 15.5 billion page views each month by 409 million people. The full details on how to embed VR content on your WordPress.com-powered site is available here.