It probably isn’t a surprise that more and more images and videos are popping up on the Internet, and even the way we view those images is changing. There are so many competing sites these days that people demand an experience when they take the time to visit one over the others.
With 360-degree photos, viewers get a glimpse of a wider world than a flat 2D photo. In 2016, 360-degree photos and videos appeared more often on both Facebook and YouTube than last year. Even though loading times may be slower due to the size and scope of 360-degree images, there are many benefits to using panoramic style interactive features on your site.
Here are four reasons to use 360-degree images:
1. Capture Readers’ Attention
People expect quality content these days. There is readily available content on social media, via news sites, on the television, on the radio and on any website a person wants to visit. What isn’t found on every site is a 360-degree image.
Utilizing fresh ideas like this can help your site stand out from your competitors’. It lends a personal touch by providing an intimate, in-depth look at your product or service.
One example of a site that uses 360-degree images to showcase their products is Moissanite Company. This site sells moissanite jewelry, a beautiful man-made diamond. If you are shopping for a wedding ring, you can view the ring from different angles, even seeing the way the light hits it.
This works well for the shopper who might not have seen a moissanite stone in person or is unsure how the ring might look on their hand. By viewing the ring online, it brings the product to life for the consumer.
2. Enhance Your Facebook Page
Most businesses today have a social media presence, and Facebook is still one of the top places to reach customers. In the last few years, they’ve added features such as Facebook Live and Facebook 360. Now, you can grab a panoramic photo from your iOS device and share it to your Facebook page as a 360-degree image.
Thomann International is a store that sells beautiful, customized guitars. They use Facebook 360 to show followers the beautiful guitars on their walls. Pan from one side of the room to the other and see everything on display in that room.
This benefits the customer who can’t make it to the local store, but who wants to do some online shopping. It is especially beneficial for products that are not cookie cutter and need to be seen in full to be appreciated.
3. A Feel for a Product’s Use
Some products are hard to envision online. To get a feel for how to use the product, you need a 360-degree view of what the equipment looks like from the top and all sides.
Playworld Systems makes playground equipment. By providing a 360-degree view of the equipment from their landing page, the viewer gets a feel for what the equipment might look like on their property, and they may even imagine children at play.
Their interactive panoramic view is particularly effective because you can get a feel for the overall layout of the equipment and which pieces you need to buy for the space you have.
4. Full Scope of Place
There are a number of uses for 360-degree views in the travel industry. If the consumer is looking for a location to visit, spending time browsing popular landmarks online is one way to get an overall feel for the locale.
The images can be used to view the inside of a hotel room, the surrounding area and amenities. This can help the consumer decide if this is a place they would like to stay.
One good example of this is AirPano. This site offers 360-degree tours of some of the most famous locations in the world. Spend some time touring the Taj Mahal or check out Angel Falls in Venezuela.
AirPano benefits its online audience by providing insight into locations the person might want to visit. However, it also offers views of places that might be harder to travel to, such as the Arctic Circle. The images are crisp, clear and vivid.
Even though it may take longer for a 360-degree video or image to load, with more people on high-speed Internet, it makes sense to offer this feature at least on some pages or social media platforms. Providing an in-depth look at products, places and even services can help encourage customers to choose your business over a competitor’s.