Sunday, June 26, 2016

Virtual Reality in Facebook Photos

VT in Facebook Photos
With the promises offered by virtual reality (VR) technologies to the masses, Facebook does not want to be left behind in any development that they started to bring 360-degree photos to its newsfeed last 16 June. Facebook users can now upload 360-degree photos for their posts, and they should be showing up in everyone’s newsfeed soon.

The 360-degree photos are spherical photos either taken with a dedicated VR camera, or stitched together based on multiple individual photos. On mobile, these photos can be explored by simply tilting one’s phone. Desktop users can click and drag to move the photo and look at every angle.

When viewed with a compatible Samsung phone, Facebook will also display a dedicated "view in VR" button. What users can do is just insert the phone into their Gear VR headsets to watch the photo in a more immersive experience.

What is missing thus far from the Facebook app is the option to actually take 360-degree photos. Facebook product manager Andy Huang instead advised users in a blog post to use "a 360 photo app."

Granted, 360-degree photos aren’t exactly the most exciting way to experience VR. But the addition of the media format to Facebook’s timeline could be an interesting hook to get more people excited about VR, especially as ownership of mobile VR headsets continues to increase. Samsung saw over one million users of its Gear VR headset in April alone, and is currently giving away the headset to anyone buying a qualifying phone.

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