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Facebook just became a much better place to share 360 photos

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Facebook wants you to take a look around.

As it announced in May, Facebook is now rolling out support for 360 photos in the News Feed, allowing users to view as well as upload pictures taken with 360-degree cameras on both desktop and mobile.

Just like with 360 videos hosted on Facebook, desktop users can click and drag 360 photos to see different parts of the photo while mobile users can swipe the photos or tilt their phones.

Most people don’t have a 360-degree camera (at least not yet) so most 360 photos will likely come from panoramic shots taken with iOS and Samsung Galaxy phones. There are also 360-degree photo apps like Google’s Photo Sphere, which allow you to easily take 360 photos with your phones.

You upload a 360 photo to Facebook just like you would with any other photo. Just tap “Photo/Video” above the “What’s on your mind?” box and select the 360 photo. They’ll appear on the News Feed just like a normal photo but with a small compass icon in the corner, signifying that you can explore the photo further.

If you have a phone that supports the Samsung Gear VR (i.e. a recent Samsung phone), you’ll see an icon for viewing the photos with the headset. Other smartphone users are out of luck, since Facebook doesn’t support other headsets, such as Google Cardboard, ostensibly because of Samsung’s partnership with Facebook-owned Oculus VR.

Facebook is one of the first major services to host 360 media. Google-owned YouTube, notably, supports 360-degree video, and Yahoo’s Flickr has a Flickr VR app for viewing 360 photos with a VR headset.

The big tech companies are also racing to complete the other side of the equation: 360 content creation. Facebook announced a 360 video camera at its developer conference, Google has its Jump platform, and Samsung recently released the Gear 360 ball-shaped camera.

If the phenomenon goes mainstream, we may soon be saying goodbye to selfie sticks, and hello to 360 cameras.

Source : http://mashable.com/