Facebook 360 Photos and Videos: A social media tool for business?

Tapping into the rising virtual reality trend, businesses can now engage their Facebook fans and customers with a truly immersive experience...

What are Facebook 360 Photos and Videos?

Photos and videos that can be viewed from a 360-degree angle, creating a truly immersive experience for users by putting them at the centre of the action – with the rise of VR (virtual reality) this is one step forwards in introducing it to the public.

The first sign of the importance of VR to Facebook was when the company announced that it was buying Oculus.

Facebook said: “We believe in the future of virtual reality, and with 360 video, we hope to unlock new perspectives and immersive storytelling for everybody.”

How do Facebook 360 Photos and Videos work?

To view on mobile, you hold up your phone and move it around (or turn yourself around) to see the photo move as if you are standing within it.

(If you have a Samsung Galaxy 7 Edge you can use your phone as VR player with Oculus Gear.)

To view on desktop, click and drag your mouse to move around the photo to see it from every angle.

To create a 360 PHOTO:

  • Take a panorama with an iOS device or Samsung Galaxy phone
  • Capture a 360-degree photo on your phone using an app like Street View or Google Camera
  • Take a 360-degree photo with a 360 camera

Once you’ve uploaded your photo to Facebook, in the normal way, it’ll be transformed into a 360 image – identifiable to your audience by the compass icon.

To create a 360 VIDEO:

You’ll need a special 360 camera as well an editor who knows the best practice filming, stitching, and editing techniques.

Why should I use Facebook 360 Photos and Videos for my business?

A brand new way to engage your Facebook fans. 360 brings users out of their scrolling apathy to engage with your posts.

You can view the engagement metrics in Insights to help you learn which elements your followers enjoyed the most.

Facebook said: “We’re adding tools to help publishers understand which parts of their 360 video viewers find most compelling. Our new heatmap, coming soon to insights view in Page Insights and Video Library, will show publishers which parts of the 360 view audiences are watching most.”

Who else is using Facebook 360 Photos and Videos?

PHOTOS:

One of the Startups 100 winners Vape Emporium uses 360-degree photos to show their online customers the interiors of their boutique vape shops.

Vape Emporium Facebook 360

Website BeachRex – a site designed to help you find your perfect beach – uses 360 photos to fantastic effect to give followers an immersive experience of the beach that they are researching.

Beachrex Facebook 360

Wimbledon is a brand that is quick to jump on new social media practices, as seen last year when they set up on Snapchat. This year Wimbledon shared multiple 360 Photos and Videos to give tennis fans the closest experience to being on Centre Court as possible.

Wimbledon Facebook 360

VIDEOS:

Red Bull Racing 360 video from on board an F1 car going around a track.

Star Wars 360 video – speed across Jakku desert.

Any drawbacks?

You’ll need to make sure that you’ve got the right gear.

Facebook recommends: Samsung Gear 360, RICOH THETA S, 360Fly, Giroptic 360 Cam, ALLie Camera or Panono. Or the new Kodak Pix Pro SP360.

Beware of the costs of editing your 360 videos:

“Similar to producing traditional videos, 360 video production varies in cost. One of the larger added cost with 360 video is in post production, where stitching multiple camera feeds takes longer than with traditional video.”

There is no doubt that VR is coming – get started with 360 to be at the forefront.

For advice and ideas check out this useful community.

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