Facebook has begun rolling out a new feature that allow users to post 3D photos in their News Feed. The new feature works by using AI to bring depth to 2D images taken in Portrait Mode using Apple’s iPhones.
Facebook’s 3D photos feature was originally announced in May during the company’s annual F8 conference. The new feature is now rolling out to everyone and it should be available to all users in the next few weeks. However, everyone on Facebook now has the ability to view 3D photos in the News Feed.
For those who already have the feature available to them, they can start posting this type of images by starting a new post and selecting the 3D photos option located between Check In and Camera. Users will then have to select a portrait captured on their iPhones. This also means that the new feature will only work if users own an iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X or the all-new iPhone XS.
When the image is uploaded, it should have a 3D-like effect that gives the photo more depth. Users will have to move around the phone to see the full 3D effect. On desktop computers, users will have to move the mouse cursor on the image to see the 3D effect. The 3D photos created by users can also be viewed using the Oculus Browser on the Oculus Go, or Firefox on the Oculus Rift headset.
Facebook is believed to be using artificial intelligence to create 3D photos. TechCrunch said that Facebook’s AI is able to stitch together real layers of the photo by using the differing perspectives of the dual cameras on the iPhones. The results aren’t always perfect, which is why Facebook has offered up some guidelines so users can post the best 3D photos.
“You’ll get the best results if your main subject is three or four feet away, and to really make it pop, try to capture scenes with multiple layers of depth, including something in the foreground and something in the background,” the company said on its blog. “You’ll get more of the 3D effect when your photo’s subject has contrasting colors—for example, someone wearing a blue shirt standing in front of a blue wall won’t pop as much as someone wearing a different color.”
The ability to create 3D photos in Facebook is only available to iPhones that have dual rear-facing cameras. Nevertheless, it is expected to come to other smartphones in the near future.