A good web designer, keeps up with the latest trends in design, art and web technologies. Something that is really making a difference in the way websites look is 360 photography which is also known as VR photography. Once you learn how effective 360 photos are, you’ll want to start incorporating them into some of your sites. Who knows, you might even want to start taking and selling 360° photos yourself.
A little bit of movement or animation on a webpage will add some spice to keep your visitor on the site a bit longer. However, if overdone or done poorly (like cheesy animated GIFs from the early days of the Web) they can have a negative effect.
Video banners are good, but they provide engaging visuals at the expense of download time. Google favours quick-loading sites, so adding a video banner could hurt your ranking in Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page). There’s no point in making a site more engaging if it ends up being seen by less people, due to being lower down in search engine ranking.
Step in, 360° photos. I’m sure you’ve seen and made use of 360 photos on Google Maps and Street View. But did you know that you can embed 360 photos, like the ones you see in Street View, on your own website like this?
360 photos have been around for a long time. 15-20 years ago, when they were viewable only in JAVA Applets, 360 photos had to be taken as 4 to 8 photos on a camera with a fisheye lens. Then they had to be “stitched” manually using special software that would merge the individual photos into a single photo sphere (a panoramic image where the viewer can not only look all around in 360 degrees, but also up and down). In late 2013, Pentax/Ricoh released the first consumer 360 degree camera called the Ricoh Theta. With its dual fisheye lenses and automatic stitching, it allowed photographers to create a 360 degree photo sphere in one shot.
Since then, there have been dozens of 360 cameras released by various manufacturers. Strategy Analytics predicts that the consumer 360 camera market will grow 1,500% from 2016 to 2022. So now is a great time to get into 360 photography. It will keep your websites ahead of the pack and even allow you to earn income producing 360 content.
There are a number of sites where you can showcase your 360 photos, such as Veer, Roundme and Kuula. But there is currently only one site that provides the entire workflow of selling 360 photos. Launched very recently, My 360 Shop, is the only platform where you can display a 360 photo to a client and accept payment for it. Once the client has paid on the site through PayPal or their credit card, additional features for working with the 360 photo are made available to them.
- The client will be able to download the 360 photo. The photo won’t work on its own, but once they upload it to Facebook, the embedded 360 meta data (EXIF info) makes the photo display in Facebook’s own 360° player. Research has shown that 360 photos can increase engagement by up to 10 times. Imagine your client getting up to 10 times as many likes ?, wows ? and hearts ❤ as they usually get. The post will also have greater reach, because it will be shared by a lot more people, which means that it will end up being seen by more people.
- They can make “tiny planets” with them. Instagram is full of “Tiny Planets”, or “Little Planets”. With My 360 Shop, the client can turn the 360 photos into their own tiny planets. This is a lot of fun for them, and it will further increase their ROI (Return on Investment), because people love tiny planets.
- Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the client can embed the 360 photo into their website or blog, just like the one on this page. There is little use talking about 360 photos and photo spheres if I can’t actually show you one. The one you see here was created with just a couple of clicks using the embedding tools that are delivered with every photo you sell on My 360 Shop. What’s even better, is that the auto-rotating 360 photo is responsive. Go ahead and view this page on a different type of device.
So don’t just keep an eye out for this trend, get onto it and start taking (and maybe even selling) 360 photos. If you are after your first 360 camera, check out 360 Rumors, which is the best website for 360 camera reviews and deals.