Facebook Allowing Users to Share 360° Photos

When it comes to 360 degrees and virtual reality, you kind of expected videos. It made sense to be able to explore them so you could feel involved. What you didn't expect were 360° photos, which technically work on the same idea, but still seem a little odd.

Tech Crunch
Facebook are rolling out the ability to share and create 360° panorama photos. In your news feed the photos will simply show you a smaller view of the image, but when you click on it, you can explore the entire photo in detail so it looks as if you're looking around the scene. This is both a nice idea and kind of pointless. It does mean that your beautiful panoramas don't have to be squished and people may be surprised when they explore the full photo. It also allows you to have a more HD photo and that could be pretty amazing. However, it is only landscapes and how many people will actually care to explore a still photo remains to be seen. 360° videos are great because you can explore and you don't always know what to expect, but with a photo, nothing is going to happen as it's still.

These photos will only become 360° if uploaded on certain phones or with certain apps. You need to have an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy. The other option is to upload it from a 360° app or camera. You can't upload one of these photos on a normal camera so not every photo on your news feed will be special. If you do open a 360° photo then to see the full view you can either tilt your phone or tap and drag the image to explore. It's simple enough and means you don't have to zoom in and out of the picture. If you have a VR headset, then you can tap view in VR, slip the phone in your headset and you can turn your head to look around the photo.

Facebook already have celebrities and publishers lined up to share 360° photos including NASA and the Supreme Court. The feature rolls out on iOS, Android, the web and Gear VR from the 10th of June.

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