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Facebook 360 photo not working? How to post 360 photo on Facebook in 2021, plus how to view in full screen (updated February 5, 2021)

Facebook 360 photo not working? How to post a 360 photo on Facebook in 2021
Facebook 360 photo not working? How to post a 360 photo on Facebook in 2021

Did you post a 360 photo on Facebook but it’s showing as a distorted (equirectangular) photo instead and not as a 360 photo?  Here’s how to post a 360 photo on Facebook in 2021.  Also: here’s how to view a 360 photo in full screen on Facebook.

The Problem

Facebook used to be able to recognize 360 photos without any issues.  But this changed in 2020 when they overhauled their interface.  If you post a 360 photo, it may appear flat and distorted (as an equirectangular image).  If you post a 360 photo and it is not appearing as 360, here are some things you can try.

Here is a 360 photo I posted on Facebook, shot in HDR from around 25 feet high with DSLR, downscaled from 200+ mp to 72mp.

Option 1: Try it anyway on desktop

The first thing you could try is that even if the photo looks equirectangular, you can still go ahead and publish it.  Sometimes, even if it appears equirectangular as you’re composing the post, it might still be published as a 360 photo.  If do publish it and the 360 photo still appears equirectangular, try the other options below.

Option 2: Use the mobile version of the browser on your desktop

A simple option is to switch to the mobile version of Facebook on your desktop.  Instead of facebook.com, go to the URL m.facebook.com, which will use the mobile version of Facebook.  Alternatively, you can press F12 on Google Chrome and click on the mobile icon.  When you are in mobile browser mode, you can then upload one or more 360 photos.

You can temporarily switch to the mobile version of Facebook on your desktop
You can temporarily switch to the mobile version of Facebook on your desktop

Option 3: How to post a 360 photo on Facebook with Android

First, if your photo is on your desktop, you’ll need to transfer it to your phone.  From your phone, there are two ways to post it.

Transferring from your desktop

If your photo is on your desktop, you’ll need to transfer your photo to your phone first.  Connect your phone to your PC via USB and copy the photo to DCIM/Camera, where it will appear in the phone’s Gallery app.  Alternatively, you can upload your photo to Google Drive or some other cloud drive and download to your phone.  Once the photo is in your Gallery, you can post in either of two ways.

From your Android – two ways

Chrome mobile browser:  The first way to post a 360 photo with an Android phone is through the Chrome mobile browser.  Log in to Facebook via your Chrome browser and post a 360 photo.  Before publishing the post, you should see a 360 symbol that shows that Facebook recognizes your photo as a 360 photo.  You may upload more than one 360 photo with the mobile browser.

From your phone Gallery: The second way to post a 360 photo is via the Gallery app.  With this method, you can post only one 360 photo at a time.  If you try to post more than one photo, they will be converted to equirectangular format.

  1. Launch the Gallery app and open your 360 photo.  If you see “View 360 photo,” then proceed to Step 2.  If you do not see “View 360 photo,” then you need to fix your 360 metadata.  (See below.)
    When you open the photo in your Gallery, see if it says "View 360 photo"
    When you open the photo in your Gallery, see if it says “View 360 photo”
  2. Tap on Share and select Facebook News Feed.
    Tap on Share then select News Feed (even if you want to share it somewhere else)
    Tap on Share then select News Feed (even if you want to share it somewhere else)

    The photo should appear in 360 view before you post it.  If it does not appear in 360 view and instead looks equirectangular, then fix the 360 metadata first (see below).

    The photo should appear in 360 view before you Publish it.
    The photo should appear in 360 view before you Publish it.
  3. Optional: if you want to share to a group or to your page instead of your News Feed, tap on the drop down box on top that says “Share to News Feed.”  You’ll see the option to post the photo to a group or to a page that you own.
    Tap on the drop down box on top to choose where to share your 360 photo
    Tap on the drop down box on top to choose where to share your 360 photo

Option 4: How to post a 360 photo on Facebook with iPhone

First, if your photo is on your desktop, you’ll need to transfer it to your iPhone or iPad.  Then you’ll be able to upload it in either of two ways (see below).

From your desktop

If your photo is on your desktop, then connect your iOS device to your PC via USB and copy the photo to your phone via iTunes.  Once the photo is in your phone, then see below for how to post from your phone.

From your phone – 2 ways:

There are two ways to post a 360 photo on iOS: either the Safari browser or the Facebook app.

With Safari browser: With Safari, you can login to Facebook from your Safari browser.  Create a new post and tap on photo, then select your 360 photo.  You should see the 360 symbol on the photo.  If you do not see the photo in 360 view, then you should fix the 360 metadata (see below).

With Facebook app: create a new post and tap on “photo” then select your 360 photo in equirectangular format.   Before you post the photo, you should see your photo in 360 view.   If you do not see the photo in 360 view, then you should fix the 360 metadata (see below).

On iOS, posting a 360 photo on Facebook is easier.
On iOS, posting a 360 photo on Facebook is easier.

What is the maximum 360 photo resolution for Facebook?

The maximum resolution I’ve been able to upload for a 360 photo is 128mp (16,000 x 8,000).  However, if you upload a 16k photo, it may or may not upload successfully (you may get a message that the photo was not loaded).  When I downscale to 12k, it always uploads.

Fixing 360 Photo Metadata

If you followed the steps above but the photo is still not appearing in 360 view, then there is probably a problem with the 360 metadata.  Here’s how to fix it with a desktop app, phone app, or website.  Regardless, make sure not to exceed the maximum resolution (see above).

With desktop app

On a desktop, you can fix 360 metadata using Exif Fixer, available for Mac or Windows.

With phone app

On a phone, there are a few apps for fixing 360 metadata, such as using Yoichi Hirota’s edit360, which is available for iOS or Android.

Web-based metadata repair

If you would rather not install an app, there are a couple of sites that can fix the 360 metadata for free: ExifFixer.com or NadirPatch.com.

How do I view a 360 photo in full screen on Facebook?

On some displays, a 360 photo cannot be maximized to the full screen:

On some displays, a 360 photo cannot be maximized to the full screen
On some displays, a 360 photo cannot be maximized to the full screen

If this is happening on your display and you have the option to switch to 4K, then you will be able to maximize to full size:

When my screen is 4k, a 360 photo can be maximized to the full screen
When my screen is 4k, a 360 photo can be maximized to the full screen

 

About the author

Mic Ty

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  • As far as I know, and I just checked to be sure, I can still upload 360’s straight from my PC?

    I uploaded this one from my desktop right after reading your article:
    https://www.facebook.com/unbelieversound/posts/1723111404532848

    You are correct that the new design broke 360 support, but it has been back for some time now. First you couldn’t post a 360. After a while you could, but not several in one post. And after again a while that was possible again too over here (Netherlands/Europe).

    The support is still not fully back: I cannot open it fullscreen or enlarge it. Neither can I zoom in or out, or determine the initial view direction. So it’s still flawed, but I am able to post 360’s.

    You cannot? Have you tried lately? Is it maybe like that in the US?

    best regards, Frank

      • Thanks Wayne. A few people are helping me try different combinations. So far, it is inconclusive. Sometimes it posts as a 360 and sometimes not.

    • Thanks Frank. Yes I’m trying different combinations.
      Re the full screen, the solution is to switch to 4k. If I am on 1080p, it shows as only 1/4 of my screen.
      Let me try again.

      • Mic, to your knowledge, is FB still working/planning on improving the desktop 360 experience?

        It’s crazy that all functionality (fullscreen/zoom/return to default zoom) is available on mobile but not on desktop.

        I’m still good posting 360’s, but (not having a 4k screen yet) it’s so frustrating to see it open wide, then a second later render a small square.

        regards, Frank

        • Hi Frank. TBH I think that if they wanted to, they could already have fixed it. Whoever is in charge of it appears disinterested, or is satisfied with the errors.

  • From your PC You can unload 360 Pano and choose the starting view with Chrome desktop. on Mac Osx with safari you can change the user agent to iPhone

    • Hi William. What kind of 360 photo did you take? Was it shot with a DSLR / mirrorless or a 360 camera? If DSLR / mirrorless, did you put the right metadata?

  • All of the android-based methods failed for me, with panos from an LG G6, but applying Exif Fixer to the photos and uploading in fb running in Win10 firefox seemed to work, except not in albums. Thanks for sifting through all these methods and keeping an eye on what these clowns are doing!