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10 Social Media Experts Predict the Future of Facebook 3D Photos for Brands

November 16, 2018

We’re at the precipice of something big changing Facebook.

Facebook recently released its Facebook 3D photo tool, which allows Facebook users to take a Portrait mode photo, upload it to Facebook and then view it in 3D. Essentially, Facebook 3D photos utilize depth of field to give Facebook users an immersive experience. Click below for our full guide!

How to Use Facebook 3D Photos

How will consumers and brands use Facebook 3D photos?

As users onboard to the new Facebook 3D tool, it’s only a matter of time before brands start integrating Facebook 3D photos into their social media marketing strategies.

I spoke to 10 leading social media experts across a variety of industries to discuss their predictions for Facebook 3D photos for brands and consumers, as well as to learn how their brands and companies are already using (or planning to use) Facebook 3D photos.

facebook 3d photo flowers

gif created by Devin Pickell

Facebook 3D photo predictions

Dana Stern Gibber, Headliner Labs

“I think that ultimately, 3D images will overtake regular 2D images as the main photo visual shared on Facebook and across Messenger. The more lifelike a visual, the more the visual chips away at the psychological barrier between reality and simulation, between physical proximity and digital rendering.

As this barrier is diminished, it results in considerably higher conversions for companies because it reduced the uncertainty inherent in e-commerce shopping. In this way, 3D photos will address the key challenge to selling online: uncertainty about size, fit and other detailed physical characteristics. As soon as Facebook releases 3D photos as an option for what we do in Messenger, we’ll enable brands to incorporate Facebook 3D photos into the conversational marketing campaigns powered by the Headliner platform.

Platform-wide, we see a 15% increase in campaign conversions--whether for abandoned cart, abandoned browse, product recommendation, etc.--when rich imagery is included. This is because of the emotional response triggered by visually interacting with a product, as well as a basic memory-jogging function. Plus, Facebook 3D images will reduce the great challenge of consumer uncertainty about size, fit and other detailed physical characteristics. For this reason, we would expect them to boost conversions.”

Barbara Krygowska, All Points Public Relations

Facebook 3D photos have unlocked a new world of creativity. While the average user might consider 3D content creation to be out of reach, Facebook has enabled them to think: “This is accessible to me, and I can create this!” Much like what we’ve seen with video, we’ll see brands quickly adapt Facebook 3D photos to further develop their e-commerce, to showcase individuals from their organizations and more.

Facebook’s investment in AR/VR has advanced to help make 3D more accessible for marketers. With the addition of a third dimension comes a new set of variables to consider. Moderation of these posts will be a hot topic as political and privacy concerns still linger for the platform. Beyond Facebook 3D photos, users are also creating Facebook 3D posts of everything from their products to memes. Snapchat and Pokemon Go have found success with their 3D elements that mimic a real-life object seen through a phone screen, which Facebook is likely to develop further in the near future.

3D photos are a great option for our clients who prefer to post organically on Facebook. The image depth is certainly thumb-stopping enough to go a long way with no spend behind it. And, compared to the production time of video content, it takes only a moment to capture a 3D photo with a two-lens camera. As our clients’ consumers also adapt to 3D photos, a whole new type of user content is being generated for brands to use and engage with. Influencers now have a new way of promoting brands and we’re excited to see the results. It’s surprisingly easy for 2D-minded individuals to enter the world of 3D. I myself was apprehensive about tackling 3D, but applications like Microsoft’s 3D Paint are making it very easy to dive right in with minimal experience.”

Jonathan Smalley, Yaguara

“At baseline, Facebook 3D is a new way to create different, and potentially more engaging, content. As the feature progresses, I expect this to become a huge selling point for keeping content and ads on Facebook. Imagine IKEA retargeting you with an ad that lets you see that couch you were looking at from multiple angles and potentially uses AR to show you how the couch looks in your living room. We are seeing that almost all 100+ of the e-commerce companies on our platform are experimenting with 3D photos. The first step we are seeing is testing organic content containing Facebook 3D images to see how it compares to similar 2D content.”

Leo Bridle, Powster

“Facebook 3D photos have taken off really quickly, but it’s still very early days. Throughout the next year I think we will see all kinds of brands and businesses commissioning creative studios to create 3D pictures from images that would have previously been 2-dimensional assets to generate more social engagement.

As the format matures, more options to convert 2D stills into 3D photos will become available to the public - right now there are only a few methods, and all require uploading from a recent iPhone.

Internally, we are investigating using Artificial intelligence to help automatically create depth information in images in the future to speed up the process.In the short time since Facebook 3D photos have been around, POWSTER became the first creative studio in the world to figure out how to make custom 3D photos from 2D images. The majority of our clients are movie studios, so in the past two weeks, we’ve created 3D photos for Paramount’s upcoming movie Pet Sematary and 3D posters for Warner Bro’s title, Aquaman.”

Adomas Baltagalvis

“Whenever a new feature like Facebook 3D photos is rolled out on Facebook, a lot of marketers jump in and imagine that it will somehow revolutionize their marketing activities and explode their business results. The same thing happened with video ads, lead ads and even canvas ads.

While there will be an increase in engagement with Facebook 3D photos in the first few months, people will grow tired of them and the effect will die down eventually. What marketers keep forgetting is that it’s not the type of content, but the actual offers and sales funnels that matter - focus on really figuring them out, instead of chasing after the new shiny toys.”

Claire Whittaker, Artificially Intelligent Claire

“As customers increasingly move to both researching and shopping for products online, you will see that companies will look for ways to support them in visualizing products at home. This is one of the largest opportunities for retail businesses to leverage 3D technologies, such as Facebook 3D photos. The ability to show 3D rendered spaces gives customers an intuitive way to see how products will look together, offering inspiration. If you can then make those experiences shoppable then you have delivered a call to action that will drive conversion for the customer directly from that image.”

Pete Richardson, Splash

“For the everyday Facebook user, images on your feed have to really stand out for someone to stop scrolling. That's why Facebook is investing in Facebook 3D — they know how important engagement is to businesses in this powerful but saturated channel.

I see businesses (retail, publishers, technologies, or hospitality companies like Airbnb) taking advantage of 3D photos to better connect their customers to their products or experiences. As for staying power, this is a new feature — and with all new features, it will initially be used frequently at the start (I imagine similarly to Facebook's Panorama Photo feature). But I see this as a huge opportunity for businesses to engage with customers in a new and creative way.For events, design can make-or-break an event.

I see Splash and our customers using Facebook 3D photos to more effectively promote activations and experiences, as well as make the online and offline experience more seamless. While currently not available in Splash's technology, I can see Facebook 3D photos being an effective design element on event pages and invites as a tactic to lure guests in.”

Anna Bessonowa, Magic Day Luxury Experiences

“Facebook 3D photos are useful both for the businesses and their clients. For us, as wedding and event planners, this is a perfect opportunity to immerse our customers in the destinations, event venues and design options. Facebook 3D pictures provide a better feeling of venues by bringing photos to life. This is an important part of destination events planning of all types and sizes. The depth simulation in the photos can help prospective customers to make more grounded decisions on their event location, decoration, and design.

Christian Lovrecich, Lovrecich Media

“Facebook 3D photos are taking off like wildfire. When it comes to advertising campaigns and showcasing products they definitely break all the noise in the feed and grab people's attention right away. Next year, I predict we're going to see advertisers using this to their advantage in order to drive more traffic and get higher conversions on their ad campaigns for less.

It’s still too early to tell if it is just going to be a fad or not, but my prediction is that people are going to get super creative with it and I cannot wait to see what people come up with. Imagine scrolling through your feed and all of the sudden you see a 3D portrait of the Mona Lisa with a witty campaign slogan, or an ad for a car dealership where the car is jumping out the screen right at you. We're already testing a few campaigns with it and seeing great results but the real test will be when everyone is doing it and that's when it's going to be interesting to see what advertisers come up with to really stand out from everyone else.”

Stacy Caprio, Accelerated Growth Marketing

My recommendation to all agencies and business owners is to utilize this new Facebook 3D technology right now, before users get too used to it. You have a large advantage and window of opportunity to capture scrollers' attention when this feature is still relatively new, since they aren't accustomed it and will stop and look more closely at the different, more interactive photo type. This gives you the opportunity to capture their attention for longer than normal, without having to pay extra. Once Facebook 3D photos become normal, people will stop scrolling to take a closer look, so take advantage of the technology now while you can.”

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