Facebook’s plan 3D posts
What if you could digitally sculpt a 3D object and share it on Facebook, play with it in virtual reality, or insert it into your world with augmented reality? Facebook is polishing up stages one and two today after first debuting posts ofinteractive 3D models in News Feedin October that you can move and spin around.
NowFacebook 3D posts support the industry standard glTF 2.0 file format, allowing for textures, lighting, and realistic rendering of roughy or shiny objects. New Graph API endpoints let developers build 3D modeling apps or even 3D cameras that directly share to the News Feed and make websites that show up as 3D posts. Users can now drag-and-drop 3D objects into the feed. And users can take 3D posts and bring them into Facebook Spaces, its social VR hangout rooms.
For example, you could make a metallic personalized chess piece in a 3D modeling app, share it straight to News Feed, and then bring it into Facebook Spaces where you could play with it as part of the playground’s native chess board. Brands likeLego, Jurassic World, Clash Of Clans, andWayfairare already experimenting with 3D posts that you can play with here or on this article.
“We’re trying to make 3D a native part of the Facebook ecosystem. Stage 3 is getting these 3D objects into AR” says Facebook’s creative director for social VR Ocean Quigley. He sees this as a natural progression for a social network that’s gone from text, to photos, to videos, to immersive media. “We’re trying to lay the foundational steps so Facebook can go with users into their 3D worlds of VR and AR.”
Now when you share a 3D post, you’ll get to pick a background color and texture to set it on. Quigley says the hope is to “keep the upload flow pretty simple and streamlined” so sharing high-tech posts doesn’t require high-tech skills.
There are huge opportunities for Facebook if it can make this work. It could leave other social networks in the dust by offering the most futuristic ways to share. You could easily imagine Facebook profiles getting a “3D shelf” where you could display objects you’ve collected for friends to play with. And hopefully, Facebook or some third-party will develop a great 3D avatar creator that automatically generates a mini virtual version of you based on your tagged photos.
Marketers and advertisers would surely love to let users try on an augmented reality purse rather than looking at it in a photo, and some brands like Sony are already paving the wayfor augmented reality commerce. Wayfair now lets you inspect a 3D version of its furniture in a home setting before buying.
There’s no way Facebook can build enough 3D objects on its own to populate the physical world with augmented reality. It needs the help of third-party developers and the crowd. Quigley tells me “we’re not going to be giving you 3D editing tools” to build your own objects inside of Facebook. But if it can make it easier for outside creators to import them, it could provide a much more wondrous and immersive experience whether you’re on a phone, headset, or some future AR glasses.
via- josh constine