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 If you’re a free account holder and you upload a business pano, it will remain in your unpublished queue. If you decide to purchase a PRO Account later, your unpublished business panos can then be published.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.