How to take 360 photos for Facebook using your phone

How to take 360 photos for Facebook like this one taken inside Magnolia in Waco TX (photo by Sheila Scarborough)
Panorama 360 photo taken inside Magnolia in Waco, Texas (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

(Part of my “Better Online Content” series of posts: quick tips on creating more effective content that takes advantage of the social web’s unique publishing environment.)

For a more immersive online visual experience, you’ll be glad to know that it’s gotten a lot easier to shoot basic 360 degree photos with your phone, and then upload them to your brand/business Facebook Page, or personal profile.

In the photo above, I stood at the top of steps leading down into a big room, which helped with perspective. Even having people moving around as I was shooting didn’t cause any strange, blurry effects.

Check your phone camera setting for something named “Panorama” or similar, select it, then shoot in a slow, steady rotation from your far left to your far right, or far right to far left. The resulting photo will go into the photo gallery on your phone, but will have a little symbol on it, like a globe, that indicates it is panoramic.

Open your Facebook Page Manager app, select Add Photo, then pick that one, or do the same for your personal Facebook profile from the regular Facebook app. Facebook will then “auto-magically” post it, with a helpful little note on it to “Tilt or drag to look around” so viewers will know to use a finger to scroll the photo back and forth.

People won’t be able to look up and down as they would with a true 360 photo, but they will still feel as though they are standing right there in your destination, hotel, attraction, restaurant, or business.

There is a Facebook Group for 360 enthusiasts, and you can learn more (including about 360 video) on Facebook’s 360 microsite.

Is your tourism organization or partner business using 360 yet? What have you learned so far? Leave a comment below and let us know….

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About Sheila Scarborough

I'm a writer and speaker specializing in tourism, travel and social media. Co-founder of Tourism Currents (training in social media for tourism) and the Perceptive Travel Blog.
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