If you’ve ever scrolled through your Facebook feed and noticed that someone posted a 360-degree photo, they probably didn’t use a special 360 camera, but rather just their phone. Here’s how you can take your own 360 photos with your smartphone and post them to Facebook for all to enjoy.
There are several different ways you can take 360-degree photos. You can use a specialized 360 camera that will take one single photo using an array of multiple cameras (like the Samsung Gear 360), or you can just use your smartphone and take a bunch of different photos that get stitched together to create a 360 picture. If you’re using your smartphone, there are a handful of apps that allow you to do this. Google Street View is one of the most popular, and it’s available for both iOS and Android devices.
So, let’s look at how to take a 360 photo with Street View and post it to Facebook.
Capture a 360 Photo
Once you have the Google Street View app downloaded to your phone, open it up and tap the camera button in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
More options will pop up. Select “Camera.”
You’ll now begin to create your 360-degree photo. Start by lining up the white circle with the orange circle. When you do this, it will automatically take a photo. From there, move your phone around to take more photos, lining up with the orange circles as you go.
When you’re done capturing the scene, hit the check mark button at the bottom. Keep in mind that you don’t have to create a full 360-degree photo—it can be a simple panorama if you want.
Your photo will take some time to process and stitch together. When it’s done, you’ll see a message that reads: “1 ready to publish.” You can tap, hold, and swipe up that message to open the photo.
When your photo is open, swipe up from the bottom of the screen, and then tap the share button.
You may get a popup message warning you about flatness in privately-shared photos. We won’t be publishing the photo to Street View anyway, so we’re not worried about that. Just tap “Share Privately.”
Choose how you want to share the photo. You can share directly to Facebook—or other services that support 360 photos—or save the image to your phone’s camera roll for later sharing. In this example, we’re going to do the latter by saving the photo first.
Share Your 360 Photo to Facebook
When you’re ready to share your photo to Facebook, open the Facebook app and tap “Photo.”
Select the 360 photo that you took. 360 photos feature a small globe icon on them to help remind you what type of photos they are. Once you’ve selected the photo you want, tap “Done” in the top-right corner.
Next, drag the photo around to select the starting point.
After that, enter in a status and other details if you’d like and then tap “Post” in the top-right corner.
Once the 360 photo is posted, your Facebook friends will be able to tilt and move their phone around to view it. If they’re on a computer, they’ll be able to click and drag their mouse around instead.