Facebook Expands 3D Photos to Stories and Adds New Creation Methods

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

One of the challenges of marketing is creating imagery that catches the attention of your target audience. This challenge has only become more difficult in the age of social media, where there is a never-ending supply of photos to distract people. One way to make pictures more appealing is to use advanced features that go beyond your traditional photo. Facebook has announced they are expanding 3D Photos to Facebook Stories.

Facebook introduced 3D Photos back in October 2018. Using a dual lens iPhone, it’s possible to take an image that had a 3D effect. The photos have a feeling of depth that you don’t get with traditional images. Facebook says that in a short amount of time, the 3D photos have become popular with users on mobile, desktop, and even VR devices.

The newest update expands where these 3D photos can be used. Rather than be restricted to News Feed, users can now use these images for Facebook Stories, which is a format that is growing in popularity.

As Facebook explained in its announcement, “Starting today, you can share 3D photos through Facebook Stories, a place where people share real, everyday moments. Just like with 3D photos you share to News Feed, you’ll be able to see who has viewed, reacted to, and responded to your story. The difference is that Stories are only visible for 24 hours, so they always feel current and help people catch up on what happened that day.”

Facebook is also making it easier for people to create 3D photos. It’s no longer something that can only be done from an iPhone. Facebook has created a web tool that can combine two (correctly formatted) images into a 3D photo.

To use the web tool, you will need two files image files in a .png or .jpg format, one for the image and another to be the depth map. The depth map must have “_depth” appended to the file name. While the aspect ratio of your depth map and your image must match, they don’t need to be the same resolution. Once you have the files, you can combine them with the editor Facebook provides.

Android users are also getting a means of creating these stunning images. According to Facebook, Android support for 3D photos will begin next month. However, the process will be slow depending on your device manufacturer. Samsung devices are first in line, starting with the Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S9+, Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10 5G, and Galaxy Fold. Other Android devices will get support in the following months.

Marketers who want to try using 3D photos but don’t have an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy should try using the web tool mentioned before. There is a learning curve; the process isn’t as intuitive as most things on Facebook. However, the effect is eye-catching, and that can have a significant impact on your social media marketing efforts. When people are scrolling through their News Feed or looking at Facebook Stories, they will be drawn to the images that have a 3D effect and interactive elements.

To learn more about recent updates and changes to Facebook, read this article on changes Facebook has made to combat problematic content.

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