Facebook has finally launched a feature that supports 360° photos. Joining this club is also very easy provided you have a smartphone and the right application to go along with it. This feature allows the user to look at a picture in any direction rather than just staring at a two-dimensional image. It is similar to the street view in many respects. There is also a 360° video feature although we will not look at that for now.
So let’s get started on how to shoot and upload a 360° photo on Facebook.
1. Look at existing 360° photos
Before you even attempt to take your photo, it is advisable that you are swift through those that are already uploaded on the website. This will enlighten you on the what works and does not. It will also guide on the situation where a 360° photo would be more suited.
This can be done by simply searching on the search box provide on the Facebook site. To enjoy the view, click and drag the mouse on the laptop or tap and move the phone around on the smartphone.
2. Take the 360° photo – Google Street view 1
According to wearable tech digest, this should be taken in a format that Facebook can understand, and the best app for this is the official Google street view camera app which is available for both iOS and Android. The app will guide you through the process of capturing the photos that you desire but ensure you remain still.
3. Take the 360° photo – Google Street view 2
You will need to move the phone round so as to locate the dots that appear on the screen. The photo is automatically captured once the orange dot is found. The tick at the bottom will gradually get a border which eventually turns to green once all the images are taken. The app will also guide you in case there are any missing points.
4. Take the 360° photo – other apps 1
The Facebook feature can also work with images that are captured using the photo sphere mode of the latest Android cameras or the panorama mode in the iPhone. In case any data is missing, Facebook will try to patch it up. Samsung phones have a surround shot mode which you may use in addition to the other alternatives such as the VR-ready cardboard camera from Google (Android only).
5. Take the 360° photo – other apps 2
In case you are using the photo sphere mode in the default Android camera, then the procedure is similar to that of the street view app. The cardboard camera, however, is a bit different. It requires you to slowly rotate your phone to the right-hand side in a smooth continuous motion so that it can capture a full circle of images.
One cannot look down or up but can add an audio if you prefer. The resulting image can be viewed in any cardboard-compatible VR viewer.
6. Take the 360° photo – 360° cameras
If you desire better results, you can make use of a dedicated 360° camera. These device have already hit the consumer market and hence individuals can easily get one of them at fair prices. Most of them are compatible with the Facebook feature. Some of these cameras include Samsung Gear 360, Ricoh Theta S and the LG 360 Cam.
7. Upload your 360° photos
Uploading of the 360° photos is similar to how you can upload any of the pictures in the social networks. Simply select the photo from the status update box and then tap Upload. On the laptop, click on the photo/video link.
It is, however, disappointing as you cannot yet use the inbuilt Facebook camera app to create the 360° photo. We, however, expect this feature to be incorporated in future for convenience.
8. Set the posting options
Similar to the other post you make on Facebook, you can limit the people who can see you uploads. This is set to friends by default but can be adjusted to another preference e.g. public or only me.
As with the other traditional images, you have the option of including the location at which you took the 360° photo. This will make it easier for other people on Facebook to find the 360° photo that you uploaded. It is however advised not to reveal your work locations or home specifically if you are going to set the image public for anyone to see.
9. Viewing the 360° photos you uploaded on Facebook
Upon completion of the process of uploading, one can visit their profile to ensure that the result is as good as was intended. As elaborated earlier, you can either use the mouse, or you finger to move around on the image.
At the bottom right corner of the photo, is an icon which looks like a radar, its purpose is to show you where the perspective is pointing at any time.
10. Doing more with your 360° photos
These 360° photos are not exclusive to Facebook. They can also be used on google photos, or to view them through the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR.
The launch of this feature by Facebook is a concrete indicator of better quality interactions over the social networks as we move on to the future.
Although this feature is at its infancy stage, the developer’s team at Facebook can do more in integrating the inbuilt camera that Facebook offers on the site, to the new 360° photo feature for more convenience. Therefore, get snapping and show the whole of your surrounding on Facebook.