When Facebook launched it's 360 Photo project, it wasn't long until 360 degree images started to appear on people’s posts.
360 degree content had already captured people’s attention and the 360 format was quickly becoming one the most shared and viewed types of content on social media.
But it's not just photographers and tourists who are uploading and sharing 360 photos. Our business clients were quick to realise that sharing 360 images on their Facebook pages are a great way to promote their business and soon started asking when are 360 photos coming to Instagram?
Afterall, you can share 360 degree photos on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and even Flickr. In 2017, we really hope Instagram not only supports panos but makes it as easy as Facebook did to share and promote 360 photos
In short, 360 photos on Facebook are a great but we need 360 photo support on Instagram too.
There is light at the end of the tunnel though. Here’s a few reasons why we think 360 photos are coming to Instagram shortly or at least in the first half of 2017.
Instagram - an evolving platform
A fundamental part of Instagram's success comes down to its continued evolution as a platform. Instagram may have started out as a simple photo sharing app and some cool filters. Today it includes:
- Live Video
- Non-square images
and much more.
Just yesterday they announced Live Video and Disappearing Photos and Videos
Right now, Instagram has an estimated 500 million + users and it got there by adding new features and pushing the App beyond square photos and retro effects.
Here are some of the recent features Instagram have added over the years. Reading this list, It’s not hard to imagine seeing “360 Photos on Instagram” as a future update.
- Longer video on instagram
March 29 2016
- Support for Landscape and Portrait Formats on Instagram
August 27 2015
- Layout from Instagram
March 23 2015
- Hyperlapse Video
August 26 2014
- Advertising on Instagram
Oct 24 2013
- Video on Instagram
June 20 2013
Instagram is content-driven and pays close attention to content trends and the types of content people are sharing. If something works for Facebook, Snapchat or YouTube, Instagram haven't been shy about bringing those trends to it's own app.
Here's a few examples:
- YouTube’s popularity showed that people wanted to share video and Instagram responded with video support
- Snapchat’s disappearing content was a huge hit with users and Instagram responded with it's own take
- Facebook's 360 Photo success demonstrates the appetite for immersive 360 images.
If demand for 360 degree content is growing, Instagram will want to follow suit quickly. A quick look at Google Trends shows the rapid rise in web related searches for just a few 360 related phrases.
A business friendly platform
For all the photos of cats, sunrises and selfies on Instagram it's actually a very business and brand-friendly platform.
And just like any other business in existence, Instagram has bills to pay and right now it's advertising revenue from businesses and brands that are paying for servers, wages and office space.
Sure, a few million from Facebook will keep the lights on for a while but sooner or later, you’ve got to figure out how to make photos of sunrises and selfies pay. Facebook had the same challenge and opened up their platform to advertisers. If those advertisers find that 360 content is being shared and liked, you can bet that Instagram are paying attention.
The boss says so
Instagram was bought by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion and despite having a certain amount of autonomy, I imagine that 1 billion buys Facebook a ton of input into Instagram's features and direction.
Essentially, you can say that Instagram is a sub-brand of Facebook and they share many of the same aspirations - content sharing, connections and advertising.
If something works and works well for Facebook, we can reasonably expect it’ll come to Instagram too.
The launch of 360 Photos on Facebook has been a huge success. With thousands of users creating and sharing 360 content, 360 Photos for Instagram can’t be too far off.