Facebook is rolling out a feature today which will allow users to post photos with a 3D effect to their feed — essentially photos that show your subject in richer detail. Despite the name , the photos wont be truly 3D, per se. You wont be able to spin a photo of your dog around to view her from every adorable angle, for example. But the photos will have depth that lets you see things from different angles and tilts within the photo. Facebook describes it as being kind of like looking at your photography subject if they were standing still behind a window. Those sweet cool gadgets? It wont be possible for just anyone to take these kinds of photos. For starters, youll need phone with dual cameras. Facebook gives, as an example, all iPhones which have a Portrait mode. After you take the photo, Facebook uses AI to create the rest of the image based on what the cameras have taken — basically painting in the parts of the picture the camera doesnt show. Facebook gives a brief tutorial explaining how to take the best 3D shots, which basically amounts to dont stand too close and use a subject with interesting color and texture (thanks, Facebook, thats not at all what I try to do with every picture Ive ever taken). The photos can also be viewed within the browser of an Oculus headset, but its cool you dont need one for the 3D effect. 3D photos are rolling out for everyone to view today, and the ability to upload one is rolling out to everyone in the coming weeks.
Facebook is rolling out a 3D photo feature that adds depth to photos in your News Feed (or your VR headset.) All users will be able to see 3D photos in their feeds starting today. The option to create them is expanding a little more slowly, over a process of a few weeks. And in order to use it, youll need an iPhone with dual cameras — a feature thats been available since the iPhone 7, although its not present in the new, lower-end iPhone XR. A number of other flagship phones feature dual cameras, including the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and LG V35 ThinQ, but Facebook says it will be adding support for more devices in the future. The 3D photo feature was announced in May, and its relatively straightforward: you select a picture, and Facebook turns it into a pseudo-3D image that changes perspective slightly when you scroll or tilt your phone. TechCrunch explained how the technology works in more detail earlier this year; basically, it draws from the depth map thats automatically created by dual-camera phones, then adds some custom software tweaks that create a more realistic image. The vast majority of people will see these photos on other phones, but you can also view them on the Oculus Go VR headsets web browser, or Firefox on the Oculus Rift. Facebook isnt inventing a new idea here — this kind of perspective-shifting has been around for years on phones — but its making the process intuitive and the results very easy to share. Its also adding yet another little feature that blurs the line between normal Facebook posts and immersive experiences like virtual or augmented reality. And its doing so in a way thats relatively non-controversial, at least compared to the giant home videophone it unveiled earlier this week. Update 3:30PM ET: Facebook has specified that only iPhones with dual cameras are supported for now, not all dual-camera phones.