Using Facebook 360 Degree Photos to Enhance User Experience
Facebook has announced a change to how you can upload imagery that could shape people’s experiences on the platform.
Just by using your phone’s camera, you are now able to take a photograph and upload it to Facebook, where your followers can interact with it at will. Instead of the usual two dimensional image, your 360-degree photo will help you give a complete tour of a certain setting, giving your audience more insight than ever before.
Already, the immersive tool has amazing implications for business, journalism and individuals alike. Facebook has long been positioning itself as a portal to explore new ideas and places, and the 360-degree photo tool allows us to do just that. From the comfort of our homes, we are able to get more of a sense of a remote location than a photo would allow; the fact that the user interacts with the photo means they will feel more ownership of their experience, shifting their browsing experience from a passive to an active one.
Engage customers by letting them explore their world
Already the feature has been used by some high-profile companies to help their audience explore new ideas. In a show of investigative journalism, both VICE and the New York Times showed people around the minutiae of their news stories. Allowing their followers to access behind-the-scenes content, the online publications explored Afghanistan and the Supreme Court respectively.
More than 67% of people want their business listings to be accompanied by virtual tours, according to Google. By posting a 360-degree photo of your shop on your Facebook Timeline, you offer potential customers a way to try before they buy; they will be able to see exactly what they will experience before they walk in your doors, and get a feel for your brand’s atmosphere.
Businesses with large offices will be able to give tours of their space, proving their legitimacy to potential clients. Hotels will be able to give people a tour of their facilities from their Facebook page and restaurants will allow people to see where they are dining before they make a reservation.
On the launch of London’s Tate Modern extension, museum staff were looking for a way to promote the attraction to a new audience. The world-famous art gallery teamed with a well-known pro-BMX rider, Kriss Kyle, to release a 360-degree photo of the rider performing tricks outside the museum’s iconic façade. It was a great way of drawing people’s attention to the extension and an innovating use of the new technology.
The technology can always be improved
The platform is limited and, as yet we’re unable to post high-definition images. This will hopefully change in the future as Facebook improves the new feature through ongoing development – soon we may see life-like tours of certain spaces.
Cover image source: Facebook