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Here’s What You Should Know About the New ‘Facebook 360 Photos’

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Sharing regular photos with your Facebook friends is a thing of the past….

A 360 photo allows you to see the photo from every angle including above, below, behind and next to you. When taking a 360 photo, the field of view will automatically be set to the middle of the photo. Below are the simple steps to follow when taking a 360 photo:

  • Place your followers in the center of the action, ensuring there’s something to see and experience at every angle.
  • Create a story with your photo that encourages your followers to explore the full 360 degrees.
  • Give your followers behind-the-scenes access; imagine sitting in the Supreme Court or standing on top of One World Trade Center, looking over Manhattan.

Introducing Facebook 360 Photos

What is a 360 photo, and how is it created?

A 360 photo is a photo that allows you to view the scene from every angle: above, below, behind and next to you. You can create 360 photos by using special 360 camera hardware, taking a panorama on your iPhone, or snapping a photo sphere from certain apps on your Android phone, including Street View and Google Camera. When you share these photos on Facebook, they’ll automatically be converted into an immersive 360-degree view.

Where can I see 360 photos?

360 photos are available on News Feed on web (Chrome, Firefox and Safari); iOS (iOS v8 or newer and iPhone 5s or newer); and Android (OS v4.4 or newer and devices from 2013 or newer). You must have the latest version of the Facebook mobile app installed on your device to enable 360 photos. On iOS that is v57 and Android is v80. You’ll also be able to view 360 photos in the Oculus 360 Photos app on Gear VR and Oculus Rift.

What file formats will you support?

To be recognized as a 360 photo, your photo file must have the correct metadata. We currently recognize iPhone, iPad, and Samsung Galaxy panoramas, photos from Street View, Google Camera or Cardboard Camera and photos taken with a dedicated 360 camera (see Hardware and Apps for Facebook 360 Photos, below).

Do all Pages have access to this feature?

Yes! If you have a Facebook Page, we urge you to start experimenting with 360 photos to share news, events, and experiences with your followers.

Does viewing a 360 photo impact my device’s battery life?

Viewing a 360 photo should not have a significantly different impact on your device’s battery life than viewing other photos on Facebook.

Do 360 photos use up a lot of data?

Viewing a 360 photo generally uses the same amount of data as regular photos when connected to WiFi. However, people who like to view photos using cellular data are encouraged to keep track of how much data they are using to avoid unexpected data charges.

Will panoramic photos I shared on Facebook in the past automatically convert to 360 photos?

No, previously uploaded panoramas or photo spheres will not automatically convert to 360 photos. We urge you to start uploading new panoramas and photo spheres today!

 

Getting Started with Facebook 360 Photos

How can I take a 360 photo?

Take a panorama on your mobile device using a supported app (see Hardware and Apps for Facebook 360 Photos, below), or a photo using a 360 camera.

How do I upload a 360 photo to my Timeline?

If you took the photo using your iPhone, one of our supported photo sphere or panorama apps for Android, or a 360 camera, then the process will be the same as uploading a regular photo.

  • On web
    • Click Photo/Video at the top of News Feed or your Timeline
    • Select a photo
    • Share it to your desired audience
    • Look around in your photo by clicking and dragging
  • On mobile
    • Tap on the What’s on your mind? box at the top of News Feed or your Timelime
    • Select Photo/Video
    • Select a photo
    • Share it to your desired audience
    • Look around in your photo by moving your phone or by dragging your finger
    • Tap on the photo to view it in fullscreen

Please note that we currently support the ability to upload only one photo at a time.

How do I upload a 360 photo on my Page?

If you took the photo using your iPhone, one of our supported photo sphere or panorama apps for Android, or a 360 camera, then the process will be the same as uploading a regular photo.

  • On web
    • Click Photo/Video at the top of your Page’s Timeline
    • Click Upload Photos/Videos
    • Select a photo
    • Share it
    • Look around in your photo by clicking and dragging
  • On mobile
    • Tap on the Publish button at the top of your Page’s Timeline
    • Select Photo/Video
    • Select a photo
    • Share it
    • Look around in your photo by moving your phone or by dragging your finger
    • Tap on the photo to view it in fullscreen
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Can I upload a 360 photo as my profile picture or cover photo?

Not at this time. Starting today, you’ll be able to upload 360 photos to your Timeline, and you’ll begin seeing 360 photos in News Feed.

Hardware and Apps for Facebook 360 Photos

What browser or app is needed to view Facebook 360 photos?

  • FB iOS app v57+
    • iOS version >= 8, device year class >= 5S
  • FB Android app v80+
    • Android version >= 4.4, device year class >= 2013

What kinds of 360 cameras does Facebook support for taking 360 photos?

The list of supported 360 cameras currently includes: Samsung Gear 360, RICOH THETA S, 360Fly, Giroptic 360 Cam or ALLie Camera. You can read more about these cameras here.

If I don’t have a 360 camera, can I use an app on my smartphone to take and share a 360 photo?

Yes! The most reliable way to create a 360 photo with your mobile device is to capture a photo with the Google Street View iOS or Android app. You can use it for panoramas or photospheres. After capturing the photo, open the Facebook app or your photo gallery to post the photo. Any app that supports Photo Sphere XMP metadata is also a good option, including Samsung Surround Shot mode, Google Camera photosphere mode, and Google’s Cardboard Camera app. Lastly, Facebook will make a best effort attempt to convert panoramas from the built in panorama mode on many Samsung Galaxy and Apple devices. See below for more details.

What format is needed for a photo to be recognized as a 360 photo?

  • Photos with valid Photo Sphere XMP metadata. This includes both panoramas and full sphere photos. See here for more details on this metadata. Google’s Street View iOS and Android apps and Samsung Surround Shot mode on Galaxy devices produce photos in this format. Many 360 cameras also use this metadata, such as the Ricoh Theta S and the Samsung Gear 360.
  • iPhone panoramas must not be cropped or resized, and cover at least 100 degrees field of view horizontally.
    • 4S and newer
  • iPad panoramas must not be cropped or resized, and cover at least 100 degrees field of view horizontally.
    • iPad mini 2, 3, 4
    • iPad Air and iPad Air 2
    • iPad Pro
  • Facebook will make a best effort attempt to convert Samsung Galaxy panoramas. The following restrictions apply:
    • Supported models are S5, S6, S7, Note 4, and Note 5
    • Must not be resized
    • Must cover between 100 and 345 degrees field of view horizontally
  • Photo spheres (e.g. Street View, Google Camera, Theta S)
  • Advanced: some image stitching tools like PTGui export with Photo sphere metadata

Can I view my 360 photos in Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear VR?

Yes! You’ll be able to view your photos through Oculus 360 Photos. 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. You can also go to Oculus 360 Photos directly to view 360 photos you’ve shared and popular 360 photos from Facebook.

How do I edit 360 photos and add metadata?

Facebook recognizes and processes 360 photos by looking for camera-specific metadata found in photos taken using 360-ready cameras. This information is embedded in photo’s Exif (Exchangeable image file format) tags, and if you’re sharing 360 photos straight from camera, Facebook should automatically process and present them as interactive 360 photos. However, if you’d like to edit your photos and add metadata later in the process, check out our guide here.


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