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Image credit: Richard Lai/Engadget

Facebook's 3D photos will work with Insta360's 'tiny planet' images

But you'll need a dual-camera iPhone to upload.
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Richard Lai/Engadget

Insta360 rarely disappoints when it comes to adding new app features for its 360 cameras. In the latest update for the One X, users will be able to upload "tiny planet" photos as 3D photos to Facebook, so long as your Facebook app is also up to date. The process is simple: Just pick your desired 360 shot, choose to share via Facebook, and you'll see the new "3D Planet" option which exports your image as a 3D photo. Then it's just a matter of creating a new post in the Facebook app, select "3D photo" and then pick your freshly made 3D planet.

Given that this 3D Planet mode is still in beta, there are some caveats. First off, Facebook's 3D photo option is only available on the dual-camera iPhones (XS Max, XS, XR, X, 8 Plus and 7 Plus), so Android users are out of luck for now. Secondly, the 3D Planet mode is quite picky with the composition of the shots: you'll want a clear subject in the middle, preferably in front of a not-so-busy background, and a clear sky helps a lot.

I was able to try this new feature in advance, and indeed, the shots I took on a quiet beach worked well in general (save for my friend's chopped-off arms in one of the photos; he wore a blue vest on a white shirt). But attempts with most of my indoor shots prompted an error message saying outdoor shots are preferred; and those that managed to get past the error didn't have great results, either. Basically, it's all fun as long as you're playing with clean outdoor shots.

Another cool new feature in this update is the loop effect for your short 360 video clips. It's basically Instagram's Boomerang mode but with the added flexibility of 360 content. To use this, simply pick any 360 clip in the One X's app, shorten it to five seconds or less (don't worry, this part is non-destructive), then when exporting, simply tick the "loop effect" option at the bottom left.

Last but not least, this update finally adds a screenshot feature to the One X app's video tool (previously this was only available in the photo editor), and it also improves the processing method for long time lapse videos. Feel free to check out Insta360's blog post for video demos.

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