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17 June 2016, 14:15

Facebook Update - 360 Photo

Image courtesy of Facebook Newsroom

A friend of mine is over at the Euro's this week, enjoying the football and hopefully staying safe. And, being a football fan myself I'm being served vast amounts of content from brands and friends at the tournament, however my previously mentioned friend's Facebook posts have caught my attention more than any brand so far, and that's because he has been using the new 360 image feature on Facebook. 

I've seen brands adopt the 360 video, a great and immersive experience when seen in the newsfeed or watched using a VR headset, however these experiences currently cost money and isn't something the everyday person can use to create content. The introduction of the 360 image happened at the end of last week, so I've been a little surprised that it took several days to see someone using it.

I personally think it's a great step up for Facebook users to be able to create this type of content, and is yet another signifier of the way Facebook are taking the platform - experience places and events like you are there, when you are not.

Facebook are clearly shifting focus of the news feed towards capturing and displaying moments in time in a far more immersive way than any other platform, with a focus on mobile devices (year of the mobile, again) being the producer and receiver for user generated content.

However, with this easy and free 360 image format open to the everyday user, it will be interesting to see how brands start using it in their communications. Will the 360 image be purely for brands sponsoring live events, a celeb snapping a 360 at their arena tour or a news producer at a news worthy location. Or, will it become a tool to showcase a product or service in a more engaging format than just a still photo in the news feed? Will Ikea now start showing people who are interested in a new kitchen, a 360 view of their latest kitchens on offer? It is certainly an opportunity for lots of different creative ideas on tell brand stories or try to sell products when it is a far cheaper product compared to the 360 video. I know that we at the pslondon team are looking at ways to incorporate this into Facebook newsfeeds for our brands, when relevant obviously.

Who imagined when Facebook introduced still imagery onto the platform 10 years ago that they would be looking at a feature that can showcase a moment in time in such an engaging way from the everyday person? Well, Zuckerberg probably did. Didn't he...

Find out more on the update from Facebook here.

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