The Business Benefits of the New Facebook 360 Photos
Has your Facebook feed been acting a little funny lately? It could be the work of the new Facebook 360 Photos feature that developers released in June 2016.
A 360 photo is a lot like what it sounds like: an immersive photo that places the viewer in the middle of the action. Think of it as panoramic photography, just beefed up a bit. The beauty of the 360 photo is that the viewer can interact with the photo by rotating/tilting their phone—by doing so it gives the experience of watching a video. It might remind you a bit like Google Street View. This is a handy photo-viewing feature since a normal panoramic photo would in no way ever fit on the screens of our handheld devices.
When it comes to promoting your business on social media, photos galleries are so last year, video clips are unpredictably loud at times, and single photos are easy to miss on crowded walls. For these reasons, Metamend is excited about the opportunities these new immersive photo-viewing features add to the Facebook user’s experience!
Social media trends and technology tends to move at a mile a minute. Wake up one day and all of a sudden it’s Snapchat. The next day it’s Instagram stories. Right now it’s Facebook 360 photos. And as great as they are at showing off how much fun you’re having at a concert, at Metamend, we feel like Facebook 360 photos are also becoming a great tool for business owners. Now you can give people sitting in their living rooms the ultimate impression of what your business has to offer by posting a 360 photo or two to your Facebook page.
Why Post a 360 Photo?
- It’s easier than taking a few dozen pictures and sorting through the best ones.
- It’s less intimidating that doing a full out video with perfect audio (that most people will skip because it eats up their data plans).
- It’s a lot more effective and impactful than a single photo, which always leaves a person wanting more.
- It’s quicker than publishing an entire blog post about your menu or shop. A picture is worth 1,000 words, isn’t that what they say? Imagine how many words a 360 photo is worth!
A Few Examples of Ways Businesses Can Benefit from 360 Photos
Realtors: Offer quick virtual tours of your newest listings (can be done as teasers while waiting the official listing to go up)
Chefs: Show off your new commercial kitchen (make sure it’s spotless!) and some of your most creative dishes
Retailors: Show off the interior of your shop (make sure it’s tidy, fully stocked, and any promotional signs are visible)
Car dealerships: Highlight all of the latest vehicles for sale across the entire lot
Hotels: Reveal the sizes and layouts of all of the different rooms available (and the views!)
How 360 Photos Appear on News Feeds
To easily identify 360 photos as you are scrolling through your News Feed, keep an eye out for the compass icon on the right-hand side of the photo. View the pic by tapping and dragging it, or by moving your phone to get a better viewing angle. You can view these on a PC or laptop as well just by clicking on and dragging the picture.
How to Take 360 Photos
Step 1: Immerse yourself in the middle of your subject.
Step 2: Use your iOS device or Samsung Galaxy phone to capture a panoramic photo, or take a 360-degree photo with the help of a panoramic photo app or 360 camera*.
Keep a steady hand!
Step 3: Share the photo to your Facebook wall using the Facebook app, taking the same steps as you would any other photos. A Wi-Fi connection will be helpful in making sure you aren’t using too much data.
Don’t forget to add a meaningful caption!
Step 4: Test your 360 photo post (as indicated with the compass icon) by slowly moving/tilting your photo, or tapping and dragging it about. You can view the photo in full screen by single-tapping it.
* If you’re not a smartphone owner/operator, you can still indulge in 360 photos. Facebook officially supports the following 360-degree cameras:
- Ricoh Theta S
- Giroptic 360 Cam
- Samsung Gear 360
- LG 360 Cam
- IC Realtech ALLie
Post Your Photos in Your Customer’s Virtual Reality
Panoramic photos that the viewer can somewhat interact with are cool and all, but what really impresses us is the compatibility between Facebook’s 360 photos and virtual reality. Yep, you can explore Facebook 360 photos in virtual reality with the Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus. Simply take a supported Samsung device, click View in VR in the top left corner of the video, place the phone in the Gear VR, and experience the photo as it appears all around you.
For more information about 360 photos, visit the Facebook 360 site or join the Facebook 360 Community group to see how other business owners are maximizing the use of Facebook 360 photos by capturing the attention of potential customers.
Feeling a bit stuck when it comes to finding the time to implement all of these social media tips and tricks? It may be time to consult a social media consulting firm to help you establish a publication schedule. Metamend is a team of online marketing experts who excel in setting up and optimizing consistent, effective social media marketing tools for small and large businesses.
Contact us today for a free consultation!