Facebook 3D photos and what they mean for small ecommerce brands

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You may have been a little shocked the other day to see that, while scrolling through Facebook 3D photo – a picture that seemed to move with you, or follow you a little bit.

That picture wasn’t actually alive, but it did have some kind of intelligence. Sort of.

It was a 3D photo.

What is a Facebook 3D photo?

On Friday, Facebook rolled out it’s ‘3D Photo feature’.

3D Photos Now Rolling out on Facebook and in VR – Facebook 360 Video 2018 10 14 19 13 15

The social network says:

‘Today we’re starting to roll out 3D photos, a new way to share your memories and moments in time with a fun, lifelike dimension in both News Feed and VR.’


Using technology that captures the distance between the subject toward the front of the picture and the background, you’re able to create an image with a sense of depth, and therefore movement.

TechCrunch goes more into detail about the specific technology.

Facebook 3d Photo

While Facebook 3D photos aren't a mind-blowing revolution, it’s certainly interesting and raises a few questions:

  • How will this change Facebook advertising?
  • How can marketers use this to generate traffic?
  • What else does Facebook have up its sleeve?

Well in this article, we’ll touch on a few of these things, and a little bit more.

How to create and share Facebook 3D photos


In order to create a 3D Facebook photo, you need to have a dual-lense camera. That means:

iPhone: iPhone 7Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS or XS Max.

Android: Samsung Galaxy Note 9, LG V35 ThinQ (Not confirmed, but suspected in the future).

Creating a 3D Facebook photo:

Head into the official Facebook and start creating a new post.

Tap the 3-dotted icon to see the post options.

Next, tap ‘3D photo’ and you’ll access your phones Portraits folder. Then pick a photo to preview it.

Now an AI algorithm takes over and gives the image a sense of depth.

Afterwards, you’re able to share the photo directly to Facebook and view it on the Facebook mobile app.

Tips for Facebook 3D photos

The official Facebook page gives a handful of tips for creating the best 3D photos:

  • The best object distance is 3-4 feet away
  • Subjects with multiple layers (such as a bed of flowers) will provide the best results
  • Objects with contrasting colours perform well (a black dog on green grass).
  • Textured subjects create the best images, transparent subjects are the worst.

As of October 2018, everyone using Facebook will be able to view 3D photos via the mobile app or the Oculus GO VR headset.

How to use Facebook 3D photos for marketing

Currently, it’s not possible to use a 3D Facebook photo for any kind of PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertisements.

However, as you may have noticed, the 3D effect while scrolling is quite…well, unique. I personally found it very very eye-catching.

The depth effect of the image made me feel like the image moved with me.

This, in turn, made me stop and pay attention to the image – in this case, a friend’s dog.

It doesn’t take a genius to see how this can be used for marketers.

A brand’s page can cut through the noise by creating a 3D image of its products in a high-contrast environment. A black handbag against a bright-red background.

What I’m hinting at here is that 3D photos, when compared to most of the content we see on a mobile Facebook feed, are a great example of pattern disruption.

Pattern disruption is exactly that. Doing something abnormal to stand out and be seen against the norm.

Here’s a great example of disruptive marketing:

disruptive marketing

A bus.

Something many of us see every day.

But instead, the paint job makes it look as if it’s being consumed by a giant snake. As a result, bystanders pay attention to it.

In the case of a 3D Facebook image, the Facebook newsfeed that we mindlessly scroll through every day is the bus. The 3D picture that kinda moves as we scroll past it is the snake paint job.

You stop, pay attention to it and as a result, remember it.

Something that many PPC advertisers pay a lot of money to do with Facebook ads!

As mentioned earlier, there’s no mention of marketers being able to sponsor posts of 3D pictures.

However, with a little creativity, I’m sure that you can find a way to leverage this new medium for your brand to stand out and be seen!

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