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Will 3D photos really become “a thing” for social media marketers in 2019?


Last week, for the first time, I saw a 3D photo in my Facebook feed. It was from friend and Fallon employee, Greg Swan–a pic of his dog. It was a little jarring as the pic moved just a bit as I scrolled by it.

Users and brands will all soon be able to take and post these 3D pics–but you need to be using an iPhone 7 or newer phone in portrait mode (I’m one of the laggards still using a 6s!). You’ll also need to have the capability on Facebook, which should show up directly below your post on Facebook–right in the of post options (photo, video, Live, etc.).

A day later, Greg astutely pointed out this post from Ritas may be the first brand 3D post on Facebook (I’d love to hear of others if you’ve seen them!). Again, a little jarring–just enough to make me stop in my tracks when shuffling through my feed. Mission accomplished for Ritas, I guess!

I’m guessing we’ll see a host of brands playing with this new piece of functionality in the next few weeks.

For now, the question is: Will 3D imagery become a real thing for social media marketers?

My guess: this will be something many brands experiment with in the weeks ahead, but I’m not sure it will “stick” for most brands. Why? A couple big reasons:

What’s the upside of 3D?

It’s certainly cool. It’s certainly thumb-stopping. But, what’s the real upside of 3D images? Will they lead to more engagement on Facebook? After the initial novelty wears off, my guess is that they won’t. It’s just not enough of a game-changer at this point.

What makes a great 3D photo?

I know we’ll see many brands play around with 3D pics for the remainder of 2018. But, how will brands decide what makes a great 3D pic? I mean, look at the Ritas pic. I get it–they’re experimenting. They were among (if not, THE FIRST) to use the technology. And, I love the headline. But, how does a straight-up product shot best take advantage of 3D? What would for a brand like that? To me, this seems like something everyone will say “cool” about for the first month or so, and then completely forget about after.

On the flip side, I do like 3D photos for brands for one big reason: They add another layer of depth to your content. Think about all the formats you have to choose from on Facebook alone at this point: Photos, text, video, live video, 360 photos, and now, 3D photos.

Using even a handful of those different formats on a regular basis gives you the chance to lend true depth to your content–more of a personal feel via video; more of an “on the spot” feel with live video; and more of an immersive experience with 360 and 3D pics.

Let me know if you see any other brands playing around with these 3D pics–I’d love to curate some of the early adopters!



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