Since Facebook bought Oculus VR, the company has been gung-ho about virtual reality and merging it on its platform to enhance the social experience. Going forward with its vision to create an immersive social experience, after making Facebook compatible for 360-degree video, the social network has now announced support for 360-degree images as well.
The social media platform will add support for 360 Photos in both mobile and Web News Feeds sometime in the coming weeks. With this feature, users will be able to upload their panoramic photos (or photos taken by a 360 camera) on Facebook.
The photo can be then seen on the phone by tilting the smartphone or dragging the photo in the desired direction. Pinching the screen will zoom in or out of the photo as well. In desktop or laptop browsers, changing angles can be done using on-screen cursors.
These photos will be compatible with the Oculus Rift and Gear VR as well for a more immersive experience. To give a sense of how it will change photo viewing, Oculus writes on its blog, "Imagine standing in the middle of a colourful parade at the Rio Carnival, or letting family from far away feel like they're part of that special birthday gathering."
Essentially it works in the same way as 360 Video that was introduced by Facebook in September. At first, the support for 360-degree video was bought only to Android and Web devices. In November, the social giant extended this feature to iPhone and iPad. To further its efforts in virtual reality, the company even announced its own 360-degree stereoscopic 3D video camera.