Facebook announced last week that they are adding more VR to your newsfeed with their most recent roll out - 3D Photos! This means that when you view a photo on Facebook you can tilt, scroll and pan to see the photo in 3D. Facebook has described this as being “similar to looking through a window”.

Facebook has just been full of announcements recently, but one of the most exciting has to be 3D photos. This isn’t just something available to brands, it will be available to the general public too.

Facebook has created a handy step by step guide to posting 3D photos, this can be viewed below.

So are there any limitations? Well, photos must be taken in portrait mode and 3D functionality is dependent on having a dual-lens camera on your smartphone. This is due to capturing the distance between the subject in the foreground and the background.

The roll-out of this functionality will happen gradually (over the course of a few weeks), so don’t panic if you don’t have 3D photos yet.

When you have 3D photo sharing, Facebook recommend keeping 3 things in mind:

Create Layers:
It is advisable to have something in the foreground and background to create a rich photo experience. Blank backgrounds are not advised. It should also be noted that 3D photos work best when the subject is 3 - 4 ft away from the camera.

Contrasting colours are your friend:
Always ensure that the subject contrasts with the background. If the subject blends in the effect will not be as pronounced.

Don’t be afraid of including texture:
Backdrops with texture look fantastic in 3D photos, so it is recommended that you find an interesting background for your subject to stand in front of. Facebook advises that glass or clear plastic is avoided as it is very difficult to capture this accurately, so the quality of your image will reduce with the inclusion of these types of materials.

Example of 3D photos from Facebook showing a dog

That’s all very well for the general public, but what are the best practices for brands keen to use 3D photography on Facebook?

  • Choose your 3D content carefully. Not every photo or product will suit 3D, so be selective. You only want the most impressive shots to be 3D for extra Wow Factor!
  • 3D is the ideal medium for event photography where there is a lot going on. A store opening or anniversary, super sale or product launch would make great content.
  • And lastly, don’t overdo it! 3D photography is great and looks amazing, but you will take the shine off it by continually posting 3D photos of your products. Keep it special by not over posting.

So what is next for Facebook and VR/AR! According to the Facebook developer blog, this is only the beginning, “In the future, we envision a seamless digital world where people can share immersive experiences and objects like these across VR, AR and the Facebook News Feed,”

“To get there, we’ll work on supporting even higher-quality 3D models, enabling interactive animations and bringing 3D content into the real world using AR. This is only the beginning, and we look forward to seeing the ecosystem of 3D content grow on Facebook as people, developers and artists contribute their creativity,” said Facebook’s Aykud Gonen.

So, what are your thoughts? Will you be using Facebook 3D photos? With so many announcements from the social media giant recently, it’s hard to keep up! You can find out more about their other new releases below.