Posts tagged ‘account’

For years people have been asking us for paid accounts with extra features.

For months we’ve been thinking about it.

And for weeks working on it.

360 Cities PRO Account

Introducing 360 Cities PRO

The 360 Cities PRO account has everything that the free account has, plus some extra adorable add-ons. 360 Cities PRO accounts are designed for professional panorama photographers who want to use 360 Cities for business purposes. The key benefit is that they allow you to publish panoramas that clearly promote a business. This is very useful for promoting hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars, shops, etc. If you name the images properly then thanks to our search engine optimization don’t be surprised if the panoramas end up ranking better than your company website. :)

The second great feature of PRO accounts is that you can publish awesome HD virtual tours on the 360 Cities hosting layer. A virtual tour on 360 Cities is a group of panos (panoramic images) that represents a virtual walk-through of a place. You can build a tour by simply uploading panoramas and grouping them together, but if you want, you can also add a nice-looking floor plan, map and clickable arrows that point to nearby locations to make the virtual walk-through complete. You can then send a public link to the tour to anyone or to embed your panoramas and virtual tours to websites. If you already are a professional VR photographer experienced in creating virtual tours for businesses in your area, 360 Cities can become an effective value-added service to help you increase your business and save you time.

Our publishing system completely automates the process of putting panoramas and virtual tours online. All you have to do is upload stitched panoramas. Our system does everything else like creating many different image versions and sizes and locating it properly on the map based on a range of data you input using our content management system, a forms-based user interface that gives you the ability to add descriptive text and control a number of settings. For virtual tours we you don’t need to worry with XML and hosting issues, we handle everything for you, even if you embed your tour. This is all a big time and money savings for you.

The third benefit of a PRO account is that you can put your company name in your account name. Your account name is the name that appears visually on the site as your photographer’s credit so it’s a good way to promote your company via 360 Cities.

Sign up for a PRO account today. For more information, please check out our PRO Account FAQ.


Today we are launching what we announced yesterday: Business Panorama Publishing, which moves us one step closer to the official launch of PRO accounts. Now anybody who signs up for a PRO account will be able to upload panoramas that promote a business to 360 Cities. If you name the images properly then thanks to our search engine optimization don’t be surprised if the panoramas will end up ranking better than your company website :)

Compare free and PRO accounts

An example panorama promoting a business:

Kampa Park by Jeffrey Martin
Kampa Park by Jeffrey Martin (click on the image to open the interactive version)

Deluxe Hotel Room by Riefa Istamar
Deluxe Hotel Room by Riefa Istamar (click on the image to open the interactive version)


A couple of weeks ago we started reviewing your newly uploaded panoramas to check if they promote a business or not. It was a preview of the upcoming PRO account feature we announced more than a month ago: Business panorama publishing on 360 Cities. The initial phase was used as a way for us to get feedback from you and now it’s over. Today (Monday June 14th) is the last day you can publish business panoramas for free. After this date you will need to have a PRO account to publish your business panoramas.

Just to be clear: This applies only to newly uploaded business panoramas published on 360 Cities after June 14th. Existing business panoramas uploaded on or before this date will stay published in your account and the business status won’t apply to them.

We won’t unpublish your newly uploaded business panoramas immediately after the review, at least not during the first weeks, but we will mark them as business and will ask you to either sign up for a PRO account or to unpublish them. Eventually we will start unpublishing business panoramas immediately after the review for free account holders.

Q: Do you have any examples of panoramas promoting business?
A: Yes, here are some examples.

Q: I don’t understand why one of my panos was marked as a pano that promotes a business!
You can always contact us to request a second review (please always include links to the pano in question).

Q: How does the review process work?

Each pano you publish on 360cities.net is manually reviewed. If your pano is marked as promoting a business by the review team and you have a free account, the pano is unpublished. More information

If you have any questions whatsoever feel free to ask questions below this blog post, in the forum or contact us directly.

Here’s our newest update on upcoming PRO accounts. If you are currently using 360 Cities for showing business panoramas or if you are planning to do that in the future, this should help you to synchronize your plans with ours. If you don’t want to pay or if you don’t see value in PRO accounts for you, don’t worry. We will always have a free account for you, so you can skip this article completely.

PRO Account Features

Business Pano Publishing

When you pay for a pro account, you can publish your business panos to 360 Cities. There is no additional fee for publishing individual images.

Entrance Hall in South Africa

Business Pano Embedding

The benefit of embedding a panorama is that we have a proven system of publishing a panorama that works in all major browsers, is super-fast and is reliable. When you view a pano, it only downloads data it needs need for your current camera orientation and zoom which saves viewer’s bandwidth. The owner of the website can insert the pano easily like a youtube video with no special technical skills and more importantly - quickly.

Virtual Tour Publishing

Unlimited publishing of virtual tours is included in PRO your account. The changes from our current model are that all virtual tours will have their own public URL so you can send a link to the tour to somebody. Our current business pages will be merged together with virtual tours to simplify the offer.

A screenshot from a virtual tour by Greg Panayotou

Virtual Tour Embedding

All virtual tours that you build will be available for embedding for a new simple embedding pricing

The roadmap (features we are working on):

Embeddable businesses: Our business objects will be renamed to virtual tours to simplify the matters and will be embeddable.

Quick virtual tours: They will be basically our current business pages embeddable into websites. With this tool you will be able to publish awesome embeddable virtual tours in seconds.

Improved tour builder: For more advanced tours, you can still use our Immersive Tour Builder http://www.360cities.net/virtual-tour. We are planning to improve its user experience.

Preview version of virtual tours: Even though your virtual tours will be published, you’ll have a chance to create a new preview version and the changes won’t be seen live before you commit the changes to the live virtual tour. This will be useful for tweaking virtual tours without affecting the live tour.

Better statistics: Pro accounts will have far better control on where their panorama images and virtual tours are embedded, viewed. We’ll offer a good per-domain stats and embedding setting for virtual tours.

Better integration of virtual tours: Virtual tours will be much more visible on the main 360cities.net site, with links from regular images included in the tour, etc. (more on this later)

More to be announced soon…

Pricing

360 Cities PRO account will costs 179 EUR / year (that’s about 15 EUR a month).

We’ll have online payments when we officially launch the PRO accounts. Until then however, you can sign up immediately to get access to the new embedding pricing or to support 360 Cities team. Please use the PRO upgrade form to sign up. We’ll send you a PayPal payment order or wire transfer instructions and an invoice if you sign up. For all early adopters we guarantee that the PRO account will expire 12 months from when we officially launch them (not 12 months from the day of the payment).

360 Cities founder and CEO Jeffrey Martin gave a talk at the Tucson 2010 Panoramic Photography Conference on April 15th and unveiled our new and improved offer to the professional panoramic photographer community: 360 Cities PRO accounts.

We will still have free accounts and we’ll keep the ability to publish an unlimited number of panoramas on 360cities.net and on our Google Earth layer (if approved). 360 Cities PRO accounts will be a new addition. PRO accounts are designed for panorama photographers who not only want to publish their general panos, but also want to use 360 Cities as part of their paid work for customers.

The launch date will be announced in the near future. When we launch it we’ll have two kinds of accounts:

  • Free accounts for sharing panoramas with the world, putting them on the 360 Cities map and (if approved) also on Google Earth. Free accounts let you publish any general pano that’s cool or interesting or simply important to you or your friends.
  • PRO accounts have all the functionality of free accounts with the added ability to publish commercial / business panoramas and virtual tours, i.e., of hotels, shops, restaurants, etc.

To sign up for a free 360cities.net account, go to the 360 Cities homepage and click Sign Up or Join.

PRO Accounts: Publish All Your “Business” Panoramas

360 Cities PRO accounts give you the right to publish an unlimited number of “business” panoramas on 360cities.net. What is a business panorama? It’s an image of, for example, a restaurant, hotel room, shop, museum, club, bar, etc., that clearly promotes the business it shows. (But a pano of you and your friends having a party in a bar or restaurant probably wouldn’t be considered a business pano.) We will publish a more detailed definition soon. If you’re a free account holder and you upload a business pano, it will remain in your unpublished queue. If you decide to purchase a PRO Account later, your unpublished business panos can then be published.  IMPORTANT: The new definition applies only for panos published after we launch the PRO accounts product — commercial / business panos that have been published before now will remain free.

EXAMPLE BUSINESS PANO: Spa - Hacienda El Carmen in Mexico


PRO Accounts: Publish Your Virtual Tours

All tours published by PRO account members will be included in our new virtual tour hosting layer on 360 Cities. As a PRO account member, you will be able to publish any number of virtual tours that you’ve created using our Immersive Tour Builder. URLs in the new tour layer will look like this: 360cities.net/virtual-tour/ID-OF-YOUR-TOUR. Our current “business pages” will be renamed to virtual tours for the sake of simplicity. Free account members will need to purchase the PRO account if they’d like to publish virtual tours.

EXAMPLE BUSINESS PANO: Seaforth Country Lodge Dining Room in South Africa


PRO Accounts: Embed Your Virtual Tours

As a PRO account member, you’ll be able to embed your business panos and virtual tours into your clients’ websites for a small fee for each embed (prices coming soon). The embedding price will cover one year instead of three years and will be lower than our current price. It will still be possible to embed non-business 360 Cities panoramas in non-commercial websites for free.


Is my panorama a business panorama?

If the main or obvious purpose of the pano is to promote a business, yes. We’ll provide a more detailed definition with examples soon.


When are you going to launch PRO Accounts?

In June 2010 (stay tuned for updates).


I’m currently using 360 Cities to show my portfolio. Do I need to purchase a PRO account?

No. You only need to go PRO when you want to publish “business” panoramas or virtual tours.


What’s the price of a PRO Account?

We’ll reveal the pricing soon, but the cost of a PRO account plus the cost of embedding a virtual tour in a website will be lower than we currently charge for embedding (in some cases much lower). In fact, we think you’ll like the change a lot. If you are really interested in getting started with a PRO account even before we officially launch, contact us to find out more.


Some other Questions?

Ask them below this blog post, we’ll answer them either immediately or in our next blog post about the new PRO accounts.

Update April 29th: Discuss PRO accounts in the forum

To learn more about 360 Cities PRO accounts, keep reading this blog.