Why Aren’t More Brands Using Facebook 360 Photos So Far?

by Arik Hanson July 22, 2016
July 22, 2016

By now, most of us know that video is completely taking over Facebook.


We heard as much from Contently last week.


Heck, some brands are going to an (almost) all-video newsfeed (ah-em, Oreo).


But, thanks to a new piece of functionality recently rolled out by Facebook, brands still have an opportunity to immerse their fans using PHOTOS like never before.


Enter Facebook 360 photos.


You’re probably aware of Facebook 360 VIDEO–but Facebook recently unveiled the capability to provide a 360-degree experience with a still photo, too. And, it’s pretty damn cool.


Don’t believe me? Take a peek at the photo Facebook used to launch this new product.



REALLY COOL, right?


So why aren’t more brands jumping on this bandwagon?


If you do a little digging with some of the bigger brands (I looked at the top 200), you’ll see very few have experimented with Facebook 360 photos.


In fact, I could hardly find any examples among the big, Fortune-500-level brands.


What you do find is a smattering–brands like Samsung, NASA (big surprise) and Salesforce (this one’s decidedly much less exciting than Facebook’s first 360 post).



But interesting that more aren’t all over this, right?


I have a few theories on why this might be happening:


1–It’s still early.


To be fair, Facebook introduced 360 photos just last month. So it’s not like these things have been around for a year. And, based on new rollouts of other Facebook products and tools, brands tend to experiment slowly. Very few big brands jump into anything quickly.


2–I think some people believe you still need a 360-degree camera.


Sure, you CAN use a 360-enabled camera like the Ricoh Theta S. But, you can also use your iPhone (or Samsung Galaxy). By using the “pano” mode on your iPhone, you can take a 270-360-degree photo and you’ll get the same effect. But, my gut tells me there’s some level of midunderstanding going on here.


3–Limited “need”


So far, the brands I’ve seen using Facebook 360 photos are tourism brands (Palms Resort), tech brands (Samsung), and surprisingly, universities (Oregon State, Oklahoma University). So, basically, either brands who have 360-degree view opportunities built into their brand (views from the veranda of your resort), or brands/organizations with landscapes and environments that are condusive to these photos (universities). 360-degree pics are a bit tougher for brands like Oreo or Kit Kat. Not that they can’t or won’t try something creative–it’s just not a natural fit. So, I think the “need” has been a factor so far, too.


What I believe we will see is a lot of experimentation in the next 2-3 months. You’ll see brands give 360-degree views of unique office environments. Pics at key events. And creative executions we haven’t even dreamt up yet.


Should be a fun next few months…

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