So, you’ve done all your research on the benefits of virtual tours, prepared yourself for the most efficient filming possible, and managed to see it through – and you’ve ended up with your very own personal tour!
The worst possible thing you could do at this stage is simply stop where you are. It may seem easy to simply upload the tour to a corner of your website or other online presence and leave it at that – or even worse, expect customers to approach you directly asking if you have a virtual tour to offer.
The truth is, many video and social media platforms are now extremely up-to-date with the video formats they can host. However, with your own virtual tour being made for a particular purpose depending on whether you’re looking to promote your own business, property or simply build your videography portfolio, finding out where to host your 360 video content might seem like a confusing affair.
Read on to find our top tips in maximising exposure of your virtual tour.
Note: If you have not yet scheduled a 360 virtual tour for your property or business, click here to get in touch with us.
In recent years, Facebook have come a long way to offer native 360 video support, including Live 360 functionality. Just like with any other video marketing, you’ll want to natively upload your video to Facebook and track all your engagement metrics directly via the platform. With Facebook’s ownership of the Oculus range of hardware, their native support for VR videos is only set to improve, so upload your 360 videos now for maximum longevity.
That is, providing your video adheres to their file restrictions. Luckily, Facebook are quite lenient with their file restrictions, and the one you’ll probably want to be most aware of is their file limit of 10GB.
Elsewhere, their resolution is capped 5120 x 2560 for monoscopic 360 video, and 5120 x 5120 for stereoscopic. If you aren’t sure of the difference, default to monoscopic, as you’ve most likely filmed your virtual tour in this format rather than stereoscopic.
If your video doesn’t fit these formats for whatever reason, don’t be quick to disregard Facebook as a platform – it can be just as viable to take a quick screenshot (even a 360 photo from the shoot, if you have one!), upload this natively and include an external link to your tour!
For a full list of Facebook’s 360 video format descriptions, click here.
Like Facebook, Twitter also offers native 360-video support – however, there are a few caveats. With no native VR hardware support (as seen on Facebook and YouTube), 360 videos can only be displayed in a 2D format and viewed either with swiping (desktop and phone) or gyroscopic movement (phone only).
Live 360 video streaming is possible on Periscope, but only via select partners, for the moment.
However, Twitter is just as viable a platform for marketing a standalone virtual tour as any others; one of the most popular 360 videos on twitter currently stands at 67 million views – and counting!
Instagram and LinkedIn
Neither Instagram nor LinkedIn currently offer any kind of native 360 video support. This may seem unusual, given that Instagram is the primary platform for visual media and LinkedIn is prime for marketing one’s business.
Given that other platforms are leagues ahead in native 360 video support, it seems very likely that both Instagram and LinkedIn’s stance on 360 video is likely to change, and very soon. Bear in mind that Instagram’s native 4:3 aspect ratio may be a significant factor here, and any virtual tours you soon create for Instagram may need to respect ther format.
If you’re looking to simply host a virtual tour as an independent upload with a shareable link that be seen by anyone, there are a number of options. 3xplor allows unlimited 360 video uploads, as do both YouTube and Vimeo.
With a shareable link, the possibilities are endless. Combine this with a screenshot or video teaser, and this can be utilised on any platform, from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and LinkedIn, or even embedded in an email signature for maximum visibility by the people you engage with the most!
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