Those panoramas trapped on your phone will finally get a better viewing experience. Facebook launched a new feature with "360 photo" on June 10, which allows tilt-viewing of panoramas.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced release of its new viewing option on his Facebook account, along with a 360 photo of a view from the top of One World Trade Center. Zuckerberg highlights the key difference between 360 videos and 360 photos that you can take 360 photos directly with your phone, rather than an expensive 360 video camera. The Facebook boss assures its users that it is as simple as taking a panorama, and Facebook would "take care of the rest."
How to create, view and upload?
It’s easy to create, view and upload 360-degree photos on Facebook. You click and upload a 360 photo to Facebook just like any other photo. Simply tap "Photo/Video" above the "What's on your mind?" box and select the 360 or Panoramic photo you want to upload. They'll appear on the News Feed just like any normal photo but with a small compass icon in the corner, signifying that you can explore the photo further. A 360 photo allows you to see the photo from every angle including above, below, behind and next to you. When taking a 360 photo, the field of view will automatically be set to the middle of the photo.
Just like 360 videos hosted on Facebook, desktop users can click and drag 360 photos to see different parts of the photo while mobile users can swipe the photos or tilt their phones. You don’t necessary need to have a 360-degree camera. Most 360 degree photos will for now probably come from panoramic shots taken with Samsung Galaxy and iPhones. There are also 360-degree photo apps like Google's Photo Sphere, which allow you to easily take 360 photos with your current phones.
Time for your brand to get on it
With 360 photos brands can showcase their most compelling stories in a new and immersive way, bringing the viewer inside a different world through 360 photos. It’s a great opportunity for brands to connect further with their audiences from events to showcasing new products in stores.
If you take professional photos, set your team up with 360-enabled cameras. According to Facebook’s guide, the following cameras will work with the new feature: Samsung Gear 360, Ricoh Theta S, 360Fly, Giroptic 360 Cam, and the ALLie Camera. Don’t use formal cameras? Smartphones like Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy work too.
Familiarize yourself and your marketing team with in and out of panoramic picture taking. While taking pictures place your followers in the center of the action, ensuring there's something to see and experience at every angle. Create a story with your photo that encourages your followers to explore the full 360-degree view. Master the art, and you can establish your brand as a new media master!