Too much time on Facebook may leave you wondering which way is up or down, and now the social media giant is adding 360-degree photos to further immerse you in the experience.
Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in a post on his page Thursday that the ability to post 360 photos is now rolling out worldwide. Similar to 360 videos, users can tilt their phones or drag a mouse across an image to gain a broader perspective.
A blog post on Facebook’s media site further explained the initiative and how to make a 360 image.
- Take a panorama with an iOS device or Samsung Galaxy phone.
- Capture a 360-degree photo on your phone using an app like Street View or Google Camera.
- Take a 360-degree photo with a 360 camera, such as the Samsung Gear 360, RICOH THETA S, 360Fly, Giroptic 360 Cam or ALLie Camera.
To illustrate the effect on his page, Zuckerberg posted a 360 image of Manhattan shot from the top of One World Trade Center by Mike Franz and Jonathan D. Woods for a Time magazine special project three years ago.
“It’s a great shot of a great city,” Zuckerberg said. (The embed may not work so great here, so pay a visit to Zuckerberg’s Timeline if it’s acting up).
On his own Facebook page, Woods reacted to the shoutout from Zuckerberg.
“Well — this is pretty damn cool,” Woods wrote, as the image neared 100,000 likes. “This morning Facebook called me to tell me that Mark Zuckerberg really liked the photo I shot with Mike Franz three years ago from the top of the World Trade Center. Feeling pretty flattered. Thanks Mark!”
Woods, who started at Time in 2012 as a photo editor, has risen to head of Time Video. He told GeekWire Thursday — through Facebook Messenger, of course — that he longed to capture the progress being made in lower Manhattan in the years since 9/11.
“After seeing Joe McNally’s image of a worker changing a lightbulb atop the Empire State Building, I pitched the idea of taking a panoramic 360-degree photo from the top of the still-under-construction One World Trade Center,” Woods wrote. “We partnered with Gigapan to create the image, and after nine months of negotiations with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, we were given access to climb the tower’s 405-foot-tall spire to place our camera on a long aluminum jib which allowed our panorama to be virtually floating in free space.”
Woods said nothing he’s ever posted to Facebook can even come close to the engagement his photo got Thursday thanks to Zuckerberg’s 67 million followers.
Meanwhile, on the 360 video front, CBS was headed toward 1 million views on a video it uploaded featuring the cast of the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” performing “Wait For It.” The 70th annual Tony Awards are this Sunday, and “Hamilton” is up for a record 16 awards.