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Facebook introduces 360 photos

Wed 22 Jun 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

We introduced photos on Facebook more than a decade ago, and they quickly became one of the main ways that people share their experiences with their friends and the world. 

Hundreds of millions of photos are shared on Facebook each day, from fun snapshots to photos of major life milestones, and everything in between. Today, we’re improving photos on Facebook so that people can share more immersive views of their world.

For the first time, you can now easily share 360 photos on Facebook. Simply take a panorama with your phone or capture a 360-degree photo using a 360 photo app or 360 camera, and then post it on Facebook as you would a normal photo. 

From there, we’ll convert it to an immersive 360 photo that people can explore, similar to how people experience 360 videos on Facebook.

360 photos are easy to identify in News Feed: just look for the compass icon on the right-hand side of the photo. Explore a 360 photo on mobile by tapping and dragging the photo or by moving your phone, and on the web by clicking and dragging. 

Now your friends can experience the moments you share in 360 as if they were actually there with you, from hiking through a national park, to wandering through a museum, to celebrating a wedding.

Along with 360 photos from your friends and family, you can discover stunning new 360 photos on Facebook from public figures, publishers, and other organisations. 

360 photos give you the ability to take the stage in front of 100,000 fans with Paul McCartney, get behind-the-scenes access to the Supreme Court via The New York Times, visit the International Space Station with NASA, and more. This medium enables new opportunities for creativity, and we’re excited to see what kinds of 360 photos get shared on Facebook.

Beyond News Feed, you’ll also be able to explore Facebook 360 photos in virtual reality with the Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus. While using a supported Samsung device, simply click View in VR in the top left corner of the video, place the phone in the Gear VR, and experience the photo in an immersive VR environment.

360 photos are available to view today on Facebook via the web and the latest version of the Facebook app on iOS and Android. Over the next few days we’ll be rolling out the ability to share your own 360 photos on Facebook.

How Do I Take 360 Photos?

  • Take a panorama on your iOS device or Samsung Galaxy phone or capture a 360-degree photo using a 360 photo app or 360 camera.
  • Open the Facebook app and share the photo as you would any other photo: tap the status tool from the top of your Timeline or News Feed, select Photo/Video, choose the photo you want to share, and tap Post.
  • Once your photo is posted, look around in your photo — or any other 360 photo in News Feed that’s marked with the compass icon — by moving your phone or dragging with your finger. Tap on the photo to view it in full screen.
  • On Samsung Gear VR-compatible phones, you’ll see a button in the top left corner of your photo that says “View in VR.” If you tap on that button and insert your phone into your Gear VR headset, you can see your 360 photo in virtual reality.

To learn more about 360 photos, visit our Facebook 360 site or join our Facebook 360 Community group to be a part of the daily 360 and VR conversation. You can also learn more in the Help Centre.

Article by Andy Huang, Facebook Product Manager

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