Mark Zuckerberg spent most of last quarter mired in controversy for indiscriminately sharing millions of Facebook users’ account details with third-party vendors. His punishment? Peeling off that ratty tee-shirt, donning his first-ever big-boy suit and tie and testifying before Congress. He was completely MIA for a few weeks as his handlers schooled him in the art of humility. Among his tasks: Explaining to a group of aging politicians that cookieshave no relation to one of America’s favorite desserts. There was clearly a knowledge gap between Zuckerberg and his audience—these legislators had little understanding of the power of data mining or the value of user information.
While Zuckerberg was defending himself to Congress, his team was creating new functionality
At the company’s annual developer’s conference in May, Facebook showcased new visual tools that focus on the platform’s augmented-reality (AR) capacity.
Facebook introduces their new 3D camera
You can now download Facebook’s free 3D camera to your mobile device and take three-dimensional (3D) pictures and upload them to your Facebook News Feed and other apps. The 3D posts provide a whole new layer to images that respond when users scroll past or angle their phones.
Time for a reality check
To try this out, I took a few photos and uploaded them to my own News Feed to see if the camera really worked. I was delighted to see that the new images really do provide an interesting new dimension. The 3D camera has an editing tool so you can filter, enhance, highlight, crop or add text to an image. You can take a new picture or pull up an existing image from your smartphone’s photo library and turn it into one that’s multidimensional. You can upload your new 3D image directly to your Facebook News Feed, Instagram, iCloud Photosharing or WhatsApp applications.
Facebook and VR: enticing us with great new functionality
Facebook is making a significant investment in virtual reality (VR), betting that 3D will be an important component of social communication’s future. While this may be the future, it’s still a long way off. To transition users from their regular social feeds to full VR environments, Facebook will be providing little stepping stones that hint at what the next evolution will be. While the 3D photo may seem like a modest step, the new imaging will make users more interested in how they view images and enhance their own photos. With more than 2 billion smartphone and Facebook users around the world, I’m betting these 3D images will quickly become disseminated across our social channels.
Look for more new tools from Facebook
In the coming months, look for Facebook to introduce visual enhancements that will showcase new ways to engage with Facebook content. Watch Party lets users watch video while chatting with friends.Dating Home enters the online dating space, accessible by clicking on a small heart icon.Facebook is counting on its users to embrace the new functionality that will broaden and enhance our content experiences.