Facebook is pushing for a more immersive culture through photo and video sharing, and is encouraging more people to upload and share original content over viral content. It recently released the Facebook Slideshow feature, and in the same month announced the ability to share 360-degree photos to your timeline. 

Although at this stage you cannot take a 360-degree performing photo within Facebook itself, you can use panoramic photos taken from your smartphone or use a third-party app and upload these.  

We show you how to take and upload 360-degree photos to Facebook from Google app Street View, from a panoramic photo taken from an iPhone, from Photo Sphere for Android and from Surround Shot for Samsung.

How to take 360-degree photos on Facebook: Use Google Street View app

Street View can be downloaded for free on Android and iOS.

Although the app may be focused at exploring and sharing street views within the app, you can also create 360-degree photography of anything you wish which can be uploaded to Facebook.

Install and open the app. Tap the orange plus icon in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.

Choose Camera and allow the app access to your camera and location.

Stand in one place and line up your camera so the orange circle is within the centre of the white circle. Wait for the app to store that image automatically, and then move your body slightly to capture the next picture. Orange dots will appear to give you prompts on where to stand.

Do this so your camera has covered the whole space around you – move in a 360-degree circle and make sure to cover above your head and the ground.

A white circle with an orange tick in the centre of your screen has an orange border that shows your progress with taking the photos.

Toward the end of taking photos you will get prompted as to where the final photos need to be taken – if you manage to get an accidental shoe or something similair in the photo then it may ask you to take a photo overtop of it.

To note: The cross in the bottom right-hand corner will delete your entire 360 degree photo progress, but the undo button on the left will delete the most recent image. 

As soon as you’ve taken enough photos the orange tick and border will turn green.

Then Google Street View will save the 360-degree image, but you don’t need to publish it if you prefer not to. The photo will be stored under Private in the menu. 

Allow the app access to your camera roll or Google photos so you can save the image.

To do this you need to open your phone Settings, tap Street View and make sure that the button next to Photos is green. 

If the image doesn't save automatically you can save it manually.

Go to Private on the main menu.

Tap the download icon (a box with an upward facing arrow).

Choose Continue to share privately.

Choose Save Image. The image should be saved to your camera roll.

How to take 360-degree photos on Facebook: Alternative options to Google Street View for taking 360 photos

iPhone

Uploading a 360-degree photo also works with photos taken on the panorama mode on your iPhone. 

This is probably the easiest way to take a photo and upload in 360-degree format on Facebook. 

Your smartphone will recognise any photo that is taken in panorama mode as 360-degree potential. 

How to take 360-degree photos on Facebook: Take 360 photos on Android and Samsung

You can also use the Photo Sphere mode to take a panorama photo, which Google added to Android 4.2 devices. 

Alternatively, if you have a Samsung smartphone you can use Surround Shot, but you need to download this as a plug-in from Samsung’s app store on the Galaxy S5.

Another extremely low-cost option is the Cardboard Camera from Google, available for Android only.

Read our guide on how to make Google Cardboard and buy official Google VR headsets.

How to take 360-degree photos on Facebook: Take 360 photos using a 360 camera

If you want to take the 360-photo sharing to a more professional level, then buying a 360 camera can be worth it. Almost all of them are compatible with Facebook 360 Photos.

Recommended 360 cameras include Samsung Gear 360 for £338.99 or the Ricoh Theta S for £298.99.

How to take 360-degree photos on Facebook: Uploading your 360-degree photo

Uploading the photo to Facebook is no different to a normal post.

In the status box on your News Feed choose the 360-degree photo.

You can choose to add location, to add it to an album, and who will see your post, tag friends and how you’re feeling – just like any other post.

Usually it’s good to add the location of your 360-degree photo.

When uploaded, people should be able to click and drag the photo around if on a desktop, or move your phone around if on iOS to see your 360-degree photo in its entirety.