Facebook rolls out 3D photos for iPhones using Portrait Mode

At their F8 conference earlier this year, Facebook announced their plans to introduce 3D Photos, which take advantage of depth information thanks to Portrait Mode found in various smartphones. The feature is rolling out now to iPhone 7 Plus, 8 Plus, X, and XS users. Facebook has not confirmed when it will be available for Android devices.

Facebook 3D Photos

3D Photos, as the name implies, allows for users to take photos that separate the foreground from the background. The feature uses Portrait Mode data, which includes information about depth and movement. Portrait Mode was made popular by iPhone 7 Plus, which shipped with dual-cameras. Even though many Android devices also ship with dual-cameras, Facebook is only supporting iPhones with dual-cameras for now.

How to upload 3D Photos to Facebook

  1. To use the feature, open the Facebook app on your iPhone and create a new post.
  2. Under post options, you should see 3D Photos. Tap the option and your photos library will open.
  3. Facebook will open the Portraits folder from your iPhone photos. Select any photo and Facebook will generate a 3D preview.
  4. Hit next, add a caption and tap Share to post

How 3D Photos work on Facebook

These photos can be viewed on Facebook’s website or smartphone apps. 3D Photos are interactive and can be scrolled, panned, or tilted using a mouse or phone’s accelerometer. If you have an Oculus Go or Oculus Rift, you can also view 3D Photos in VR, using the built-in browser or Firefox.

Both cameras in a dual-camera iPhone work in sync to capture depth information from a photo. This helps the camera understand how far the subject is from the background and vice versa. Whether it’s a parent holding an infant or a couple posing in front of a national monument, the depth-area will help differentiate how real the photo feels by making the foreground subjects look more prominent in the photo, while the background is given a level of depth to portray itself in 3D.

The feature is gradually rolling out for Facebook users on compatible iPhones.