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If you've been on Facebook recently, chances are you've noticed interactive photos popping up on your timeline.
Called 360 Photos, this new feature lets you explore panoramic and 360-degree images by moving your screen around, tapping and dragging, or clicking and dragging if you're on the web. Just look out for the compass icon, which will let you know a photo is interactive.
There are some incredible images by top publishers like National Geographic. Check out the Facebook 360 page for inspiration. But 360 photos are within the reach of anyone with a smartphone.
No expensive equipment needed
If you want to shoot 360-degree video, you'll need special camera equipment that is able to record all angles at the same time. It's pricey and not within the reach of most people.
Luckily, when it comes to taking 360 photos, you just need a smartphone! While there are a number of dedicated 360 cameras like the LG 360 and the Samsung Gear 360, you don't have to have these to create your own interactive pics.
Facebook promotes Apple and Samsung devices as the best option for taking 360 photos as they have built-in apps to shoot photoshere or panoramic images. A photoshere is essentially a 360-degree panorama, kind of like what you experience when using Google Streetview.
The list of recommended devices include:
- iPhone 4S and higher
- iPad mini 2, 3, 4
- iPad Air and iPad Air 2
- iPad Pro
- Samsung Galaxy S5, S6, S7, Note 4, and Note 5
On Samsung Gear VR-compatible phones, you'll also be able to view certain pics in virtual reality. Just look for the 'View in VR' message at the top left of the photo.
Most panoramic images can work
Don't worry though, most other smartphones can also get in on the game – you just need to be able to take a panoramic photo using your phone. Sure, you won't be able to explore all angles like you would with a 360 photo, but you can still upload an interactive pic of a beautiful landscape or photo from inside a sports stadium. (Photos have to have a viewing angle of at least 100 degrees to work.)
Plus, if you have the Google Streetview app, you can use it to take a photoshere with your phone! Brilliant for recording your travels and holidays.
To publish your 360 image, just upload your image as you would with any other photo. Facebook will do the rest.