For more than 10 years now, photos had been the prime way that users are sharing their experiences on Facebook. According to Zephoria, more than 300 million photos are shared by Facebook users across the globe, every day. It’s not just photographers but everyday users and even businesses, who use photos to compel the attention of their friends, fans and user base. To make things even more interesting, Facebook has now introduced 360 degree photos that allow users to create a more immersive experience of the places they have been, the events they are attending, among other possibilities.
Prior to this update from Facebook, posting 360 degrees / panoramic photos online required special camera kits. Further, there were only a few websites that supported the upload. After an extensive work, the result could be shared on Facebook as a link but it never played on the Facebook timeline. However, all that is past now.
Demo of Panaroma Image (Source: theindia.co.in)
From now on, users will be able to simply click a panorama with their smart phone (most smart phone cameras come with this feature) and post it on Facebook, as they would have done with normal image sizes. Facebook’s software converts this file into a 360 degree experience that the audience can explore – tilt, rotate, pan, etc. The photo posted taken the same amount of space as it did with normal photos but these are made interactive to create the panoramic experience.
360 Degree Image view on Facebook (Click on below image)
So, how do you know if a photo is a normal one or can give a hidden, 360 degree experience? Well, these posts are marked by a compass icon on the right hand side of the photo. When your click on this photo, the features like clicking, dragging and zooming are rolled in. further, if you are using an iPhone, you can just turn yourself around (ad your phone with it) and the panorama acts on itself.
IPhone users might not have noticed, but the update for the panoramic support is most likely to have been downloaded and installed in the background!
For compatible Samsung device users, Facebook also adds a VR feature. Users can select the “view in VR” option to connect to their VR headset (Gear) and have an immersive experience.
360 degree panoramic photos are always more exciting than the normal posts. Previously, landscape oriented photos were restricted to 470 px in width and for portrait (vertical) oriented photos allowed a maximum display of 470 px in height. Users certainly could upload photos in other dimensions but the thumbnail, output and the quality were heavily limited. The latest update however breaches this limitation!
For the everyday user
For normal users who use Facebook platform to share their daily life experiences – places they have been , people they have met, activities they have been involved in -360 degree photos will be a new way to catch the attention of their friends and followers. Practically speaking, you don’t just see your friend in front of the Eifel Tower but the complete surrounding and ambience of the place. 360 degree photos answer the hidden curiosity that has always been there subconsciously!
For Photographers, Facebook has been a popular way to showcase their work, connect with fans/followers/clients and learn and share tips and techniques. Obviously, the addition of 360 degree support open up new horizons of the art form, previously restricted to certain websites across the internet.
360 degrees photos are very useful for travel and real estate businesses as it will narrate easy idea about the places/homes to customers via virtual reality.
Photographs and videos have been the strongest visual tool to marketing any kind of product or service, be it a destination or a product line. The 360 degree support will now open up new opportunities and that too for free. Marketers will now be using this feature to give a fuller and immersive ‘picture’ about destinations, hotels, malls/shops, events, campaigns, and even services. Google is also pushing its virtual reality technology in web and mobile with VR View. With this technology marketers and developers will able to embed 360 degree images on web and mobile apps.
360 degree photos on Facebook are highly relevant when we are living in an age when every second person in the world has a smart phone to himself/herself, and capable of taking panoramic photos. The feature will be about using the existing opportunities for the fullest and we are certain if this turning into an exciting journey for all!