Facebook Just Rolled Out 3D Photos in News Feed and via Virtual Reality

Viewers can scroll, pan and tilt

3D photos on Facebook Facebook

Photos on Facebook’s News Feed and when the social network is viewed via virtual reality are going 3D, and people don’t even need those cheesy cardboard glasses.

The social network announced in a blog post that people can now take photos in portrait mode using their compatible dual-lens smartphones, and those images can be shared as 3D photos on Facebook, where viewers can scroll, pan and tilt as if they were looking through a window.

3D photos will also be available in VR via the Oculus Browser on Oculus Go or Firefox on Oculus Rift.

Viewing of 3D photos is available to everyone beginning Friday, while the ability to create those images has begun rolling out and will be accessible by everyone in the coming weeks.

Facebook also shared tips for the most effective ways to create 3D photos and select “scenes that will pop in 3D”:

  • Create layers: 3D Photos use the depth maps that are stored with portrait photos taken on iPhone 7+, 8+, X or XS. You’ll get the best results if your main subject is three or four feet away, and to really make it pop, try to capture scenes with multiple layers of depth, including something in the foreground and something in the background—like a shot of your family standing in a field of flowers.
  • Keep contrast in mind: You’ll get more of the 3D effect when your photo’s subject has contrasting colors—for example, someone wearing a blue shirt standing in front of a blue wall won’t pop as much as someone wearing a different color.
  • Use texture: Some materials and subjects make better 3D photos than others. You’ll get the best results from subjects that have some texture to them, have solid edges and aren’t too shiny. Try to avoid transparent objects like clear plastic or glass, as they aren’t always accurately captured by depth sensors.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.