Virtual tours using 360 images are one of our most popular and versatile applications. ThingLink's main multimedia editor is generally used for creating self-guided style virtual tours, in which your viewers can choose which scenes to explore, in whichever order they prefer. The same goes for the tags within each scene; your viewers are free to explore any or all tags in whichever order they choose.
The new Guided Tours editor allows you to create a guided experience that takes the viewer from one point of interest to the next in a predetermined, set sequence. Check out the example below:
Use the links below to quickly navigate between different parts of this article:
- Video guide
- How to create a guided tour
- Sharing & viewing guided tours
- Tour statistics
- Frequently asked questions
You can try out the guided tours editor on any account. However, sharing your tours requires a paid subscription:
- Educational accounts: any paid subscription
- eLearning accounts: any paid subscription
- Marketing & Communication accounts: Premium Team plan, Enterprise plan.
How to create a guided tour
- Select the Tours page in the left-side navigation menu
- Click the blue 'Create tour' button in the upper-right corner
- Enter the title of the tour and select the tour language. The tour language sets the language used by the built-in voiceover feature.
Note that the title of the tour is displayed when the viewer opens the tour, so keep it short & meaningful.
- Click the 'Add scene' button and upload the first 360° image of your tour. See the upload specifications here.
Guided tours consist of 3 building blocks: scenes that are different locations in your tour, focal points within these scenes, and texts describing each focal point.
Scenes are 360° images that form your tour. To upload a new scene, click the plus icon ('Add scene') next to the Scene counter:
To switch between scenes, click the 'Scene X' button ('List scenes') and select the scene you wish to edit.
To delete a scene, click the 'Scene X' button ('List scenes') and click the trash bin icon next to the scene you wish to delete. Note that this action deletes all focal points and corresponding texts in the scene, and it cannot be undone.
Focal points are different points of interest in your scenes. They are focus points - when a user navigates to a new focal point, the camera will be automatically centered on the focal point.
To add a new focal point, click the plus icon ('Add focal point') next to the focal point counter. Click and drag the image to pan the view and change the location of the focal point, then click the blue checkmark button.
You have two options when adding a focal point:
- If you leave the Selection toggle on, there will be a pulsating frame displayed around the focal point. You can change the size of the frame by clicking & dragging the white dot on the right side of the circle when adding a new focal point or editing an existing focal point.
- If you turn the Selection toggle off, the camera will focus on the focal point but it will not be highlighted.
Texts can be used to deliver any information to the viewer, but we generally recommend using them to provide information about the focal point the viewer is currently focused on.
To add a text, click the 'Add text' button and enter the text in the field at the bottom of the screen and click the checkmark button to save the text. While there is no hard character limit for each text, we recommend using short texts of 150-200 characters each. If you need to provide more information, simply click the 'Add text' button again and add another text to the same focal point.
You can highlight a part of the text by selecting it and using the Ctrl+B (Windows) or Cmd+B (Mac) shortсut. There are no other text formatting options available at the moment.
To edit a text, click the 'Text X' ('List texts') button, select the text you wish to edit, then click the 'Edit text' button and modify the text. Click the blue checkmark button to save changes.
Embedding content in text blocks
You can also embed some types of content in your text blocks, such as YouTube videos or a ThingLink scene:
- To embed a YouTube video, simply copy the link to the video and paste it into the text field:
- To embed a ThingLink scene, open the scene, click the Share button -> Get direct link, then copy and paste the direct link to your scene.
Do not add anything other than the link to the embedded content. The content will appear once you save the text object.
Sharing & viewing
To share your guided tour, open it and click the 'Share' button in the upper-right corner. There are two ways you can share your tour:
- 'Embed on website' provides iframe embed code you can use to embed the tour on your website, in a ThingLink Scenario or another tool.
- 'Get direct link' provides a link you can share with your viewers. The tour will be displayed in fullscreen without any additional ThingLink interface or branding. You can also generate a QR code for the link by clicking the QR code icon next to the 'Copy' button.
Your viewers will see only three buttons when interacting with the tour: Next, Previous and Autoplay (the voiceover button).
Here's a sample embed code you can use if you would like to test how Guided Tours play in your LMS or CMS before you create your own tour:
<iframe style="border: none;" src="https://www.thinglink.com/view/tour/1679516979431473153" width="100%" height="360" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="" data-original-width="960" data-original-height="720"></iframe>
Text-to-speech & autoplay feature
Guided tours include a new built-in text-to-speech tool. If the viewer clicks the autoplay button located in the bottom-right corner, this feature will read aloud all texts and automatically go through the tour. If the viewer clicks the button again, it will pause. Try it out using the example at the top of the page!
You can access tour statistics by opening your tour and clicking the 'Statistics' button in the upper-right corner. This page shows 3 metrics and 2 graphs:
X Views represent the number of unique viewers.
X Completed represents the number of unique viewers who have viewed the entire tour and reached the last text block.
X% completion rate is the proportion of viewers who have viewed the entire tour.
The Сompletion Rate graph shows the number of unique viewers who have completed 10%, 20%, etc. of the tour. In the example above, all viewers have viewed at least 20% of the tour, and roughly 30 viewers have viewed 70% of the tour.
The Views graph how many viewers watched the content on each day.
What privacy/visibility settings are available for guided tours?
All tours are public, meaning that anyone who has a link can view the tour.
Is there a limit to how many scenes / focal points / texts I can add?
There is no limit to the number of scenes, focal points within a scene, or texts within a focal point.
Are focal points required to have texts?
No, you can add a focal point without any texts if you want the viewer to look at something.
Can I track how viewers interact with my guided tour?
Guided Tours currently do not collect engagement statistics.
Can I use Guided Tours in a Virtual Reality (VR) headset?
Not at the moment. Guided Tours may receive VR support in a future update once the beta period is over.
Can someone else edit my guided tour?
No, at the moment Guided Tours do not support collaborative editing. It is impossible to give someone else editing rights for your guided tours.