360 Video in Wistia

Learn all about the Wistia 360 video player. Upload, customize, embed, and check stats.

360 video is a bold new frontier in streaming internet video, and Wistia makes it easy to upload and share your 360 content. Check out our guide below for all of the awesome 360 video functionality (and some serious stats) we have to offer.

360 videos aren’t like normal videos–they require a special kind of encoding and streaming to share them with the world. We’ve got you covered though! With Wistia 360 video hosting we take care of the encoding, delivery, and playback for all of your 360 videos. Currently, we support playback directly inline within Android browsers, and on desktop in Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. For iOS devices we have a Wistia 360 app (more on that in a minute).

Got a 360 video handy? Let’s get started!

Upload a 360 Video

To upload a 360 video, you’ll want to follow the same upload process you would for a regular Wistia video. Here’s the guide for that.

Keep in mind, your 360 video should still adhere to our optimal export settings, and as always, our suggested format is an MP4 file with an h.264 video codec. This way our encoding process goes smoothly, and your 360 videos play perfectly for any viewer.

It’s important to note: 360 videos are going to be much larger than most videos. Their aspect ratio should be at least 1080p — if possible, you should upload your video at 4K. Since 360 videos have a lot more visual real estate (ahem, 360 degrees worth), they’ll have a much bigger aspect ratio than traditional 2D videos. So don’t be afraid to upload big files; this way you’ll get the sharpest looking 360 videos.

Enable the 360 Player

Once you’ve uploaded a 360 video file, you’ll want to make sure you let our player know that it’s a 360 video! To do this, head to the Customize panel for the video ( ▸ Video Actions > Customize) menu, and open the ▸ Controls section. Check the 360 Video option (This is a 360 video), and let the player adjust. Make sure to save your settings and you’re good to go. Now, anyone who views your video will get the full 360 experience, no matter where it lives.

Check out this quick screencast for how to enable the 360 player.

Customize and Embed a 360 Video

Good news! Customizing and embedding your 360 video works the exact same way it does for any 2D video uploaded to Wistia. 360 videos use the same embed code types, and have the same Customize options. Check out our Customize and Embedding help pages for a quick refresher.

Playing 360 Videos

The 360 video player looks just like the normal Wistia player, but allows a viewer to look around inside the player. Check out this one of Lenny eating peanuts.

Embedding a 360 video is super easy — just pop the embed code into your website like you would any 2D Wistia video, and you’re all set.

The playback experience is a little different depending on whether you’re watching on desktop or mobile, so let’s walk through both.

360 Videos on Desktop

The best part of 360 video is looking around the video. With a desktop view you can look around by clicking and dragging within the video in the player, or navigate using the arrow keys. You’ll be able to look in any direction: left, right, up, or down.

Wistia 360 videos work on desktop in Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. (Currently, Safari doesn’t support any 360 content.) You’ll want to make sure you upload videos at 1080p or 4K resolution, otherwise you’ll have some pretty grainy 360 footage.

360 Videos on Mobile

For an even more immersive viewing experience, you can watch your 360 videos on mobile devices (perhaps even with a headset). Wistia 360 videos work inline on Android devices, and require our iOS app for the iPhone and iPad.

To explore the video on mobile, move your device to change your viewing perspective. If you’re not a fan of waving your phone around, you can use your finger as a cursor to change your point of view within the video.

The Wistia 360 iOS App

To watch 360 videos on an iPhone or iPad you’ll need to download the Wistia 360 app. (Trust us, it’s worth it!) Once downloaded, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in any 360 Wistia video.

360 app store

When you press play on a Wistia 360 video on an iOS device, the app will automatically open. Then you’ll be able to control your viewing perspective by moving your device, or using your finger as a cursor. Within the app, we’ll also store your video viewing history, so you can easily rewatch any 360 video, any time.!

The Wistia 360 App

Wistia 360 app

360 Videos on a Headset

Wistia 360 currently works on the Samsung Gear VR headset in the browser. Navigate to the video you’d like to watch in the headset browser and hit play.

360 Analytics

It wouldn’t be Wistia without some sweet analytics data. Did you think we’d leave 360 video behind?

Our 360 heatmaps can help you to analyze how your viewers are interacting with your 360 content, and even show exactly where each individual viewer looked at any second in the video. 360 analytics take a little getting used to, so if you’re confused, check out our live analytics demo.

360 Analytics Video Overview

The 360 Heatmap

The 360 heatmap gives you insight into your audience as a whole. When you visit the stats page of your 360 video, you’ll notice the equirectangular (or flattened) version of your video next the aggregate heatmap.

To the left of that flattened video is a chart. On the chart you’ll see the full duration of your video along the Y axis and the video degrees along the X axis. This gives you an idea of where your viewers are looking at a quick glance.

Hover your cursor over the chart to scrub through the video. As an overlay on the equirectangular of your video, you’ll notice heat spots — these indicate which spots in the video most of your viewers kept their focus on. This is aggregate viewing data, and it will show which perspectives your viewers didn’t experience.

Last but not least, let’s talk about the colors. A dark blue color on your heatmap indicates that this perspective of your video got the least amount of views. (The grey sections got no views whatsoever.) Red, on the other hand, received the most viewing activity, and kept the focus of your viewers.

360 heatmap

If you’d like to check out the regular old stats for your 360 video, click the Show me my engagement graph link above the aggregate heatmap. You can always hit the back button to return to the 360 stats.

Individual 360 Viewer Data

Below the aggregated data and video, is the standard list of your Wistia heatmaps. But these aren’t your average heatmaps; they’ve got something up their sleeve. 🔮

Hover over an individual viewer’s heatmap, and you can see exactly where that viewer looked at any given time. A white line on the aggregate heatmap at the very top of the page shows the individual’s viewing path in the 360 video. You’ll also see a dotted white circle over the equirectangular video to the right — this shows exactly which part of the video that viewer was focused on at any given time on the Y axis.

The hot spots on the heatmap (the red, yellow, orange, blue splotches on the video) show the aggregate viewing data of your viewers. Look out for the dotted white circle if you’d like to see that exact viewer’s perspective in the video.

Individual 360 Viewer Data

Advanced 360 Video

If you’d like to do a little more fancy footwork 💃 with 360 video, check out our developer docs on the topic.

Interested in 360 video? Have something awesome you just have to share with us? Let us know — we’re always jazzed to hear about new implementations.