What if you could peek behind whats in your photos, like youre moving your head to see whats inside a window? Thats the futuristic promise of Facebook 3D photos. After announcing the feature at F8 in May, Facebook is now rolling out 3D photos to add make-believe depth to your iPhone portrait mode shots. Shoot one, tap the new 3D photos option in the status update composer, select a portrait mode photo and users on the desktop or mobile News Feed as well as in VR through Oculus Gos browser or Firefox on Oculus Rift can tap/click and drag or move their head to see the photos depth. Everyone can now view 3D photos and the ability to create them will open to everyone in the coming weeks. Facebook is constantly in search of ways to keep the News Feed interesting. What started with text and photos eventually expanded into videos and live broadcasts, and now to 360 photos and 3D photos. Facebook hopes if its the exclusive social media home for these new kinds of content, youll come back to explore and rack up some ad views in the meantime. Sometimes that means embracing mind-bending new formats like VR memories that recreate a scene in digital pointillism based on a photo. So how exactly do 3D photos work? Our writer Devin Coldewey did a deep-dive earlier this year into how Facebook uses AI to stitch together real layers of the photo with what it infers should be there if you tilted your perspective. Since portrait mode fires off both of a phones cameras simultaneously, parallax differences can be used to recreate whats behind the subject. How Facebooks new 3D photos workTo create the best 3D photos with your iPhone 7+, 8+, X or XS (more phones will work with the feature in the future), Facebook recommends you keep your subject three to four feet away, and have things in the foreground and background. Distinct colors will make the layers separate better, and transparent or shiny objects like glass or plastic can throw off the AI. Originally, the idea was to democratize the creation of VR content. But with headset penetration still relatively low, its the ability to display depth in the News Feed that will have the greatest impact for Facebook. In an era where Facebooks cool is waning, hosting next-generation art forms could make it a must-visit property even as more of our socializing moves to Instagram.
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.