If you are starting to explore using 360 photos for digital communications you may be wondering how to add them to your website. Many people are uploading 360 content to social networking sites or even creating 360 content on platforms such as Periscope which recently introduced 360 live video.
However, what if you do not want to embed content from a third party site on your website?
I prefer not to use embeds from other sites for a number of reasons, but one main one is that if that site goes down or is no longer available, then your article with the featured content will no longer have the content available.
A number of third party tools and apps for creating 360 photographs and video content also provide embeds, but many of them have very prominent branding which you may not want on your own business website.
I searched for a solution to add 360 video and 360 photographs to my site and came across a WordPress Plugin which enabled me to add this 360 image to my website – I took the photograph with the Insta 360 Nano camera that works with my iPhone 6 and enables both video and photographs to be captured, alongside the ability to live stream to Periscope in 360. (Note: I received an Insta 360 Nano for review and demonstration purposes from the manufacturer).
If you are on a desktop use your mouse to pan left, right up or down on the image below. Alternatively if you are on mobile,move your device to see the 360 image.
I think it is a simple and free solution which you may want to explore if you are using WordPress.org for your site and the link back to the WordPress plugin page is not too obtrusive.
The one thing I found is that for some reason my watermark at the bottom of the image is not as clear once it is uploaded – that could be an issue with the file transfer or something about the way the image resolution works with the plugin.
Here are the steps you need to follow to use a plugin to enable the embedding of 360 content on your WordPress blog or website.
Firstly. install the WP-VR-View plugin which you will find here or search for it in your dashboard for Plugins.
Once you have installed the plugin you will see there are two new buttons on your editor in WordPress – one for images and one for video.
You need to upload your 360 image to your media files on WordPress and then access the URL of the media.
In your article you will then need to click on the button to upload the ‘VR image’ (360 photograph) and add the URL of the media to it.
The image with then be added to your article with a shortcode – I then centred the shortcode for the post as you can see above.
You will take the same approach when you want to add 360 video to your site.
So as you can see it is a very simple approach – though it took me some time to discover this!
Other approaches you could take to install 360 content on your site
Remember that if you publish 360 images onto Facebook pages or your profile or 360 video content on YouTube, Periscope or Facebook, you will be able to use the embed code from your posts if you prefer to do so. At this time there is no way to upload 360 video or photographs onto Instagram or Twitter.
If you are technically inclined you will find this following solution of interest. I came across an interesting article which showed how you could add 360 content and make it interactive using Marzipano and HP5 which has a WordPress plugin. Learn how to use the WordPress plugin from this article. There is also another example of embedding 360 videos from YouTube and making them interactive using Marzipano here.
Learn more about Marzipano in this video.
You will also find this a helpful list of resources if you are exploring 360° VR Panoramic Photography and 360° Video.
If you do not have a 360 camera you can use apps on your mobile device to create 360 images. For example the 360 Panorama app on iOS which has been available for many years, or the Google Street View iOS and Android apps.
For 360 vertical video content you can check out the recently available Pie iOS app – content is only 10 seconds long, and the viewer can choose where to look by swiping the screen or twisting their phone.
If you have questions about using 360 photos and video content in your communications I will be covering this in the forthcoming workshops I am delivering for PR and communications professionals – alternatively you can schedule a conversation with me to explore some options that could assist you in creating and publishing engaging and immersive content.