In-App 360s: Facebook Cover Photos With a Twist
Remember the last time you tried to find a new place for food? Perhaps you looked for something specific, or maybe you let Google’s ‘near me’ feature do most of the work for you; you may even have relied simply on word-of-mouth. But, even if the latter was true, I bet you googled your colleague’s recommendation before committing to spend €25 on that “ridiculously good lamb tagine”.
And what did you look for? The menu, the prices, the restaurant’s location?… Yes; but I also bet that you checked their photos too. No matter how good the tagine, it might be harder to make a good impression on your date inside a crammed, window-less, cheap-looking restaurant. That’s why having good photos of any establishment where customers go to be catered to is so important. Now imagine being able to present your potential customers with a 360 experience of your restaurant, on their phones, straight from the Facebook app. You deliver the visuals they rely on to make a decision and you top that up with a 360 experience.
How is that possible?
Facebook has supported interactive panorama and 360 photos for a little over a year now. Last week, they announced a set of new features, with this format now being supported as interactive cover photos, for pictures taken with any software or hardware that supports a 360 functionality. Moreover, and perhaps the most interesting news, Facebook now has this capability embedded directly on the app, which means virtually anyone can have access to this feature. The photos can be seen on News Feed on web, iOS, and Android.
How do I take a 360 Photo on Facebook?
First of all, make sure your Facebook app is updated to the most recent version available. Once you have done that, you should be able to see a ‘360 photo’ option on your ‘what’s on your mind?’ status text box.
Unfortunately, while 360s are supported as cover photos for Profiles, this feature won’t be supported on Pages for the time being. Whether Facebook plans to enable this soon or not is yet to be disclosed, but there certainly is potential in doing so — especially for businesses. Nonetheless, with this new update, the power to capture and share an immersive 360-degree photo is already – and quite literally – in everyone’s hands.
Restaurants are only one of the many businesses who could benefit from it. Real-estate agencies, theatres, any stand-alone event looking to attract people — the potential is endless.
Facebook is also known to currently be working on a way to improve the spherical photos captured on their app. As anyone who has ever attempted such stunt will know, panoramas and 360s can go very easily go wrong. And I mean very wrong. So, with the company pushing to make this format mainstream, it is only natural that Facebook combines the already existing data with their machine learning resources, and turn a somewhat flawed type of photography into a work of art at everyone’s reach, straight from their app.