Any 360-degree video on YouTube with more than 1,000 views will now have heatmaps for creators showing the most popular portions of the scene.
A similar feature has been a part of other 360-degree video hosting platforms in the past, but its inclusion on YouTube should offer a very helpful new tool to creators and distributors making panoramic videos.
In addition, Google-owned YouTube released a few insights into the behavior of people watching these videos. In a blog post, the company revealed viewers spend “75% of their time within the front 90 degrees of a video.” It is also noted, however, that “while a lot of time is spent focusing on what’s in front, for many of the most popular VR videos, people viewed more of the full 360-degree space with almost 20% of views actually being behind them.”
This information shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to seasoned 360-degree video creators, but hearing it come from Google definitely adds more weight to the advice.