Facebook rolls out 3D photos that use AI to simulate depth

What would happen if you could take a look behind what's in your photos, as if you were moving your head to see what's inside a window? That's the futuristic promise of Facebook 3D photos. After announcing the feature on F8 in May, Facebook is now displaying 3D photos to add fantasy depth to the portrait mode of their iPhone. Take one, tap the new 3D photo option in the status update editor, select a photo in portrait mode and users on the desktop or in the mobile news service, as well as in virtual reality through of the Oculus Go browser or Firefox in Oculus Rift you can touch / click and drag or move your head to see the depth of the photo. Now everyone can see photos in 3D and the possibility of creating them will open for everyone in the coming weeks.

Facebook is constantly looking for ways to keep the News Feed interesting. What started with text and photos finally expanded to videos and live broadcasts, and now to 360 photos and photos in 3D. Facebook hopes that if it is the exclusive home of social networks for these new types of content, it will re-explore and accumulate some ad views in the meantime. Sometimes, that means adopting 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 made a deep dive earlier this year in the way that Facebook uses artificial intelligence to join real layers of the photo with what it follows you must have if your perspective is tilted. Since the portrait mode simultaneously shoots the two cameras of a phone, the parallax differences can be used to recreate what is behind the subject.

To 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 that you keep your theme three to four feet away, and have things in the foreground and in the background. Distinctive colors will cause the layers to separate better, and transparent or shiny objects such as glass or plastic can detach from the AI.

Originally, the idea was to democratize the creation of virtual reality content. But with the penetration of headphones still relatively low, the ability to show depth in the news is what will have the greatest impact for Facebook. In an era when Facebook's cold is declining, hosting next-generation art forms could make it a must-see property even as our socialization moves to Instagram.