It’s hard to overstate the importance of some features that Facebook rolls out, and how they’ll shape the way we consume content. History tells us that even if the tech giant isn’t starting trends, it always ends up resetting the market for them.
A dream for a more advanced social network battled early pioneers like MySpace. Updating your “status” became a challenge to Twitter, while Instagram Stories created a legitimate contender for Snapchat.
Now that users can share photos in 3D — an October announcement that only started hitting News Feeds just before Thanksgiving — Facebook proved that it has its sights set on virtual reality at exactly the right time.
The company touts the new feature as a way to “help you feel even closer to the people, places and things you share on Facebook, and relive your memories in a way that feels more real.” Undoubtedly, you’ve seen your aunt or grandfather grace your feed with a 3D photo of their own. Currently, that’s its extent, as the feature is not yet available for brands on Facebook.
Objectively, it’s a very exciting update. But, giving users the ability to have an online experience that “feels more real,” is what should create the most buzz. Buried within the company’s blog on the subject breaks down other ways 3D photos can be viewed, including using the Oculus Browser on Oculus Go or Firefox on Oculus Rift.
Facebook is getting deeper into the VR business, and advertisers should take note. Once brands are able to begin posting 3D photos of products — could pizza look any more delicious than it already does? — it will create a new way for the public to consume messaging.
What does the future look like? It’s possible that Facebook is looking toward a time where all experiences on the platform — “real,” immersive experiences — are brought to VR in full. Users may soon be able to share these moments with friends and family, all from the comfort of their own homes.
It’s a future that feels imminent. And probably one that brands and advertisers should start preparing for.