There are a few different trends occurring in mobile right now — modular phones, virtual reality, and 360-degree images — and today Facebook announced support for one of them.
Facebook is enabling support for posting 360-degree photos to its social network. You can capture the photo using a panorama or 360-degree photo app on your phone, or you can get it using a 360-degree camera like LG’s 360 Cam or Samsung’s Gear 360. You can then post it to Facebook like you would any other photo, and Facebook will convert it to a 360-degree image that its users can view.
360-degree photos are supported by the Facebook apps on Android and iOS as well as Facebook on the web. If you’ve got Samsung’s Gear VR, you can also view 360-degree images in virtual reality. To identify a 360-degree photo in your News Feed, just look for an image with a compass icon on its right side.
Devices and apps that can capture 360-degree photos are still fairly young and haven’t yet gained a ton of traction with users, but it’s good to see Facebook adding support for them. This could help the adoption of 360-degree photo apps and devices, as folks that already have ‘em can now share them to Facebook, impress their friends, and then tell those friends how they can capture and share their own 360-degree images.
To see exactly what a 360-degree photo looks like on Facebook, check out this one from Paul McCartney and this one from NASA.