(Pocket-lint) – Facebook offers a 3D photo feature that’s designed to add a layer of depth to photos in your news feed.

It can capture the distance between the subject in the foreground and the background of a photo to “bring scenes to life with depth and movement”, Facebook said. The company described it as a “new way to share your memories and moments in time with a fun, lifelike dimension in both news feed and VR”.

Here’s how Facebook 3D photos work, including how to view and create them.

What are Facebook 3D photos?

First rolled out in May 2018, 3D photos are essentially immersive photos that appear in your news feed. The feature draws from the depth map in an image captured by a dual-camera phone, and then it adds some custom software enhancements. The end result should be a perspective-shifting, pseudo-3D image.

How to view Facebook 3D photos?

In October 2018, everyone on Facebook got the ability to view 3D photos via the Facebook mobile app. You can also view them with the Oculus Go VR headset’s web browser or with Firefox on the Oculus Rift. But you do not need a VR headset; you can just use the Facebook mobile app on your phone. 

While using your phone, if you see a 3D photo in your news feed, scroll or tilt your device to slightly change the perspective. 

How to create and share Facebook 3D photos

The easiest way to create 3D photos is with the Facebook app for iOS. You can share them to your news feed, a group, or a page.


You’ll need an iPhone with dual cameras:

  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 6S
  • iPhone 7, 7+
  • iPhone 8, 8+
  • iPhone X, XR, XS, XS Max
  • iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max

Create and share a 3D photo

It’s easy to get started. Just create a new Facebook post…

  1. Open the latest version of the Facebook mobile app.
  2. Tap What’s on your mind? at the top of your news feed.
  3. Tap Write something… in a group or Create a post on a Page.
  4. Tap Photo/Video.
  5. Select your photo and tap Done.
  6. Tap Make 3D in the top left of your photo.
  7. Tap Share or Post.

Note: To remove the 3D effect, tap Remove 3D in the top left of your photo

Tips and tricks

Here are a few things to consider when creating and sharing a 3D photo:

  • You’ll get the best results if your main subject is three or four feet away.
  • Capture scenes with multiple layers of depth (like your family in a field of flowers).
  • Capture subjects with contrasting colours (avoid a blue truck in front of a blue wall).
  • Capture subjects that have some texture to them, solid edges, and aren’t too shiny.
  • Avoid transparent objects like clear plastic or glass, as the depth sensors can miss those.

Anything else you should know?

Only one 3D photo can be shared at a time. (In other words, your post can’t contain multiple 3D photos.) They also can’t be added to an album.

When will Facebook 3D photos be available?

Everyone on Facebook can already view 3D photos in their news feeds with the Facebook mobile app or with Oculus VR headsets.

But only iPhone users can create and share 3D photos on Facebook. There’s no word yet when Android users will get the ability.

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on .

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