Forget your 3D movie glasses at the theatre, Facebook is bringing 3D posts straight to your computer screen.

The world’s most widely-used social network brings AR and VR together with this new feature. Audiences can interact with and explore visual details of 3D images, objects, and videos directly in their News Feeds.

How does it work? Both brands and Facebook users can drag and drop 3D objects and images into their News Feeds by uploading an industry standard glTF 2.0 image (sometimes called the “the JPEG of 3D”) from a 3D camera or a 3D app used by developers. See a demo in the video below.

Facebook 3D posts were first announced at the Facebook F8 Conference in May 2018, with a full rollout expected in Summer 2018. Right now, they’re only available for organic posting, but it’s an exciting step for the use of 3D in advertising.

In this post, we’ll cover how your brand might benefit from using Facebook 3D posts as part of your Facebook marketing strategy. We’ll also show some cool examples of how brands are using them now.

Bonus: Download a free guide that teaches you how to turn Facebook traffic into sales in four simple steps using Hootsuite.

Why Facebook 3D posts?

With features like “textures, lighting, and realistic rendering techniques—from rough to shiny, metallic to soft,” Facebook 3D posts could be an opportunity for your brand to get noticed on social.

In a 2016 study by the Content Marketing Institute, 81 percent of survey respondents say that interactive content grabs attention more effectively than static content. As we know, the Facebook algorithm also prioritizes content that encourages active and meaningful interaction among users, rather than passive scrolling.

3D posts are more interactive than other types of Facebook content because users can play and engage with these objects in their feeds. Some brands—like the ones we feature below—are even allowing users to add 3D images into their posts. Creating opportunities for users to generate their own content is always a win, and one of the easiest ways to get users engaged with your brand.

3 brands doing cool things with Facebook 3D posts

1. Wayfair shows you how a product fits into your space

Wayfair “brings furniture to life” in their Facebook 3D posts. The online homewares retailer lets users zoom in, zoom out, and “walk around” a home decor piece in a virtual room:

Now, you can view your favorite furniture up-close and easily interact with Wayfair items before you buy! How? We’re…

Posted by Wayfair on Tuesday, February 20, 2018

This might be the purest use of a 3D post. Showcasing your product in detail and up-close is the next best thing to seeing it in person. This use of a 3D post fulfils the step in the buying journey where a customer is deciding how a product or service will fit into their life.

Wayfair’s use of Facebook 3D posts is great for online retailers who don’t have brick-and-mortar storefronts. As e-commerce continues to grow, digital brands should see how they can bring their customers closer to their products and fill a gap in the online customer buying journey.

Key takeaway: For potential customers, seeing a product online in 3D is the next best thing to seeing it in real life.

Bonus: Download a free guide that teaches you how to turn Facebook traffic into sales in four simple steps using Hootsuite.

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2. Jurassic World makes popular characters shareable

Jurassic World combines 3D posting with AR so that fans can easily create user-generated content (UGC). Not to be confused with virtual reality (VR), AR is when content is “placed into” the real world using a device like a camera on your smartphone. Think Snapchat’s augmented reality lenses.

Using 3D posts, Jurassic World lets their fans get up close and personal with one of Hollywood’s most famous raptors named Blue:

Get a closer look at Blue — in 3D. Add her to your photo or video with #JurassicWorld effect on your Facebook camera here:

Posted by Jurassic World on Tuesday, February 20, 2018

In this example, Jurassic World lets users add 3D Blue into their own videos and images through Facebook camera. Blue can be spun around, made to roar, and even makes sound—which makes it even more fun for audiences to create user-generated content (UGC) with Blue.

Posted by Austin Jackson on Tuesday, February 20, 2018

User-generated content comes with many benefits for brands. For one, it’s 35 percent more memorable than other media and 50 percent more trusted by audiences. When a user shares UGC on their feed, brands are then reaching and increasing brand awareness to that specific audience. People who include Blue in their own posts are essentially promoting the movie to their friends and family on Facebook—for free.

UGC is also shareable by both users and your brand. This means less brainstorming for new ideas and instead, including some room to repurpose the best UGC in your social media content calendar.

Getting audiences to create UGC with their favorite characters—from movies to TV shows to video games—is a relatively easy thing to do that can pay off big for your brand’s Facebook presence.

Key takeaway: Take advantage of the playful aspect of Facebook 3D posts and provide your audience with the tools to create user-generated content.

3. Coach brings audiences behind-the-scenes

Coach uses Facebook 3D posts to present a behind-the-scenes look into Fashion Week with an immersive 360 degree video experience.

Showing the inner-workings of your business in detail, like Coach, can bring people closer to your brand and make them feel special. It shows the relatable human side of your brand, whereas people typically only see the polished, presentable version you’ve worked so hard to create.

A 3D post can take your behind-the-scenes content to the next level with its immersive and virtual reality format. Audiences can feel one step closer to actually being there with you. They can enjoy an experience they wouldn’t get through a static photo gallery on Facebook.

Brands can use this type of 3D video for other interactive settings like an event, showroom tour, demo, or product reveal. It’s especially valuable for connecting with customers who may not be able to attend these events in person.

Key takeaway: Bring your audience behind-the-scenes with an intimate, immersive 3D video experience.

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