Over the past year and a half, Facebook and Snap have invested heavily in 3D formats for their social platforms. Whereas previously more involved 3D experiences like AR Lenses and 3D models have faced high creative barriers to entry, today the platforms’ investments in 3D Photos and effects are opening a new world of immersive experiences, accessible to all. Thanks to multiple cameras within mobile devices, smartphone users now have the ability to capture depth in their 2D photos, and with this new format, create and share immersive experiences in 3D.
So, what’s the big idea? Facebook and Snap are betting that scalable immersive content will boost engagement on their platforms while laying the groundwork for ad monetization. Marketers can get ahead of the curve by investing in 3D, specifically light touch 3D photo ads – a format that is proven to increase ad performance as it increases engagement.
Why are the Social Giants investing in 3D?
The New KPI
At the beginning of 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced an important shift in Facebook strategy: moving away from maximizing time spent on the platform to making it “time well spent” with “meaningful social interactions.” 3D content on the platform services this strategy—the format thrives when people interact with the content, actively engaging with it versus passively consuming it.
The Battle Continues
Facebook and Snap have long competed with each other over the lucrative teen segment and 3D is the latest tool in the battle. From Stories to AR Selfies and now 3D photos, both are betting that new content formats, especially those that are immersive, can help crown a champion.
Content Today, Ads Tomorrow
As targeting and privacy become big ticket issues for big tech, companies are refocusing on creative as a source of monetization opportunity. This means investing in content formats that can be easily scaled into ad formats.
It’s Finally Possible
Recent tech advancements like dual lens cameras, 5G, and processing power improvements, have enabled rich content like 3D to quickly render in mobile environments.
What Should Marketers Do?
Understand the 3D Advertising Ecosystem
Marketers have two key options when it comes to 3D. Going the social route involves posting 3D Photos organically on Facebook or launching sponsored lenses on Snap. Going the programmatic display route involves transforming existing display creative into 3D Photo Ads without any creative lift and triple the performance.
Invest in Scale
Immersive ads don’t need to be an “innovation test” that requires heavy content investment with no real distribution. When aligning on an immersive ad strategy, choose a format based on scale of distribution and ease of production.
Focus on ROI
Today, marketers like Paramount Pictures, Little Caesar’s, and Oculus are increasing display ad performance and ROAS by using their existing creative with 3D Photo Ads. 3D Ads get 2-3X CTR and conversions.