Inexpensive cameras and mobile phones are making 360° imaging accessible to the masses. But creating a 360-degree photo or video is just the first step. What’s the best way to show your 360° images off to the world? There are several methods of displaying your panoramic creations, and some are easier than others. Let’s start with the simplest way:
FACEBOOK – Facebook does all the work for you. It instantly recognizes that your photo or video is a 360 and converts it to the proper format. Simply upload your 360-degree images to Facebook as you would any other photo or video. If you run into problems, the Facebook Help Center can assist.
360 DEGREE HOSTING SITES – There are several websites dedicated to hosting 360-degree images, and the good news is that many of them are free to use! Just like Facebook, these hosting websites automatically recognize and convert the format. All you need to do is create an account and upload your photos. Momento360 is one of the easiest hosting sites to use, and during their beta test, the service is free! They have a great tutorial to walk you through the process. Momento includes an option to share your images on Facebook and Twitter, but those basically are shortcuts that take viewers back to the Momento website where your image can be viewed full screen on a laptop, tablet, or phone. Additionally, you can create a link for sharing via email or copy the code needed to embed the image on a website. Other good hosting sites are kuula (free basic account of 100 public uploads or starting at $8/month for a Pro account) and France’s 360player which boasts of a free lifetime account.
YOUTUBE – Despite some playback challenges on Apple products (Safari does not yet support 360 **), YouTube is a nice option for showcasing 360° videos. With video, there’s an extra step involved. You must inject the file with metadata before uploading to YouTube. 360° Video Metadata apps are available for Mac and Windows. Open the app and select your video file, making sure to check the box for “spherical” when saving. Now you’re ready to upload the video to YouTube. Make sure you’re not crunched for time – the processing time can take close to an hour depending on the length of your video.
** Note: 360 works fine on the YouTube app on iOS, or with Chrome or Firefox browsers.