Third person point of view has four variations.
Third person omniscient has an all-knowing narrator who tells the story. The narrator can share the thoughts and feelings of all characters at any point in a scene and knows information that the characters do not.
Third person objective has a narrator who can only tell the reader things which could be recorded by a camera or microphone. The narrator cannot share thoughts or feelings of the characters, and cannot reveal information to the reader that is not communicated, discovered, or shown directly by a character.
Third person limited has a narrator who tells the story from the perspective of a single character at a time. The perspective can switch to another character in a different scene. The narrator is limited to sharing what the character sees, hears, experiences, etc.
Third person deep tells the story in the hero’s voice, rather than the author’s voice. The narrator can share internal thoughts and feelings of the character, but if limited to only that character’s experiences.
Advantages of Third Person Omniscient
The story can be written as an onlooker watching the full story unfold.
You can add contrasting viewpoints with other characters, but you cannot “head hop,” or bounce between characters’ thoughts and experiences within the same scene. This can give a reprieve to the reader and allow them to see another side of the story.
You can expand the scope of the story by moving between settings and viewpoints.
You aren’t limited to characters in the story when choosing a narrator, which can provide a unique perspective.
It allows the narrator to share his or her own views, but don’t slip into second person to do so.
Disadvantages of Third Person Omniscient
Disadvantages center around the confusion this POV can create when not done with attention to detail. If narrators don’t have a distinct voice, readers may be confused on who is narrating or which character knows what.
Switching to other characters can diffuse the tension or excitement when not planned well.
It’s easy to write as the author instead of the narrator.
It can be more difficult to forge a connection with readers if it comes off as too distant or impersonal.
Advantages of Third Person Limited/Objective
It attempts to combine the best of first and third person omniscient.
The limited/objective POVs allow writers to more deeply explore the narrator and forge a stronger connection with the reader without asking them to live out a story with the narrator.
Disadvantages of Third Person Limited/Objective
It limits you to choosing a character as a narrator and limits you to the narrator’s thoughts and experiences.
The distance third person creates between the story and the reader can be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on the story. Some stories may be too raw or personal and distance is needed to allow the reader to remain at a certain comfort level. However, if in order to fully understand or experience a story, the reader needs to be enveloped in it, the distance of third person may prevent that.
Advantages of Third Person Deep
The biggest advantage of the deep perspective is that is attempts to remove distance between narrator and reader by getting inside the character’s head and experiences.
The reader can experience more fully what the narrator is thinking and feeling.
It feels more like first person to a reader, but uses third person pronouns, which can be important in following genre conventions.
Disadvantages of Third Person Deep
The main disadvantage is that this is a challenging POV to write and is still gaining traction in some genres.