360 degree videos have been out for quite some time on both Facebook and YouTube, but a few months back, Facebook added the option to upload 360 photos.
Creating them is way simpler than you think and here’s how you can do it yourself.
If you’re looking to take proper 360 degree photos (e.g. for your Facebook Page), you can pick up a dedicated 360 degree camera such as the Samsung Gear 360, RICOH THETA S, 360Fly, Giroptic 360 Cam or ALLie Camera.
However, you don’t necessarily need one of these and can simply use your mobile phone’s camera with the appropriate photosphere apps. The shots may not be as perfectly matched up like if you used one of the above devices, but if you take your time, you can get a pretty good photo.
To take 360 degree photos, all you need is a photosphere app. Here are a few good ones.
Android – Default Android camera (photosphere mode), Google Street View
You don’t have to take a full spherical photo as plain 360 degree panoramic photos can also be uploaded. Even though the top and bottom field of view will be limited, Facebook will try to patch things up somewhat.
Facebook only accepts photos with a minimum horizontal field of view of 100 degrees. Some Samsung devices may be limited to photos up to 345 degrees if those photos are taken with Samsung based photo apps.
Once your photo is taken and saved, you can either upload it via your mobile Facebook app (must be the latest version) or via your PC. Facebook will automatically detect that your file is a 360 degree photo because of the embedded metadata details (Photo Sphere XMP metadata).
Once your photo is uploaded, you should see it in action (by moving your phone or clicking around with your mouse). There will be a field of view icon like in my friend’s photo below.