Natasha Devine
October 12, 2017

Content in 360

Takeaways From WordCamp Toronto 2017

I had the opportunity to attend WordCamp in Toronto a couple of weeks ago. It’s a weekend-long, community-organized conference put together by WordPress users that covers all things WordPress, from different plugins to design aspects and overall usability.

There were lots of great speakers who shared so many great nuggets of information. I left the conference with new knowledge and a deeper understanding of certain elements of WordPress and online communities. There was an abundance of inspiration and I came back to work excited to share some new ideas.

The session that left the biggest impression on me was Chris Yee’s discussion about virtual reality for WordPress. He pointed out that VR is starting to appear everywhere, from arcades and roller coasters to your own living room.

But how can we use this in our industry?

360° Content

360 photos and videos invite the audience into a fully immersive setting, keeping them interested in the content that’s presented. From a production standpoint it’s fairly easy and inexpensive to create. Plus it’s really fun!

While a VR headset or device would make the experience far more immersive for the user, it’s not necessary. Most web browsers already support 360 content, however, it seems that Safari does have some limitations.

Integration

360 photos and videos can have several applications. They can be used in:

  • Storytelling: Readers can now experience a story on a whole new level with 360 visuals of locations, scenery and more.
  • Events: Invite a worldwide audience into a small venue, an exclusive party, or even a red carpet premiere.
  • Virtual tours: Explore real estate, showcase a space or offer an office tour.

Destinations in 360

Since my product is Travel-Wise, the application that I’m most excited about is 360 photos and videos of travel destinations. With 360 content, viewers can explore different locations around the world without leaving the comfort of their homes. While it may not be the same as standing there in person, it’s exciting to think that nearly the entire planet is at our fingertips.

On a budget? You can still see the pyramids in Egypt! Already used up your vacation days? Take in the wonders of the world anyway! Unsure if a destination is what you had in mind? Check it out before you book!

Adding 360 visuals to travel sites can change how audiences seek out and absorb that content and subject matter. We plan to introduce 360 photos to Travel-Wise in the coming months and I’m excited to explore more 360° content opportunities going forward.

I’ve already been experimenting with taking 360 photos. Here’s one I took outside our Waterloo office using Google Street View: