Like first person point of view, third person point of view permits both a close, intimate relationship with characters or a distant, reflective relationship. Whereas the first person point of view recounts the actions in the story using the subject "I", in third person characters are referred to as he, she, or it. Third person point of view also requires some other decisions regarding the narrative voice and the limitations of knowledge of the characters.
In a first person story, the narrative voice is the voice of the character referring to himself, herself, or itself as "I". In the third person point of view, the narrator is less defined. It often implies an invisible observer of the story, sometimes attributed falsely to the writer. While the writer is, of course, writing the story, the narrator of the story can have a completely different voice and personality. For example, a normally funny person can write a third person story using a serious voice, or vice versa. A happy person can write in a dark voice ,and vice versa. When choosing to write in third person, it's important to decide on a voice you are going to use in order to provide consistency and to help define the language of your piece.
The other consideration when using third person is whether or not the narrator will have insight into the characters' thoughts. In a limited point of view, the narrator may only be allowed -- this allowance set upon by the writer -- to observe external actions of the characters. For example, "With a trembling hand, he lifted the megaphone to his mouth and spoke to the crowd." Here, the thoughts of the character must be inferred by observing the character's actions. This point of view can be effective in a more active story, and it forces readers to engage more with the writing if they want to understand a character's motivations.
Alternatively, the author may have access to one or a few character's thoughts in the strangely termed limited omniscience. "With a trembling hand, he lifted the megaphone to his mouth and spoke to the crowd. He hoped he would not make the same embarrassing mistake he made the last time he tried to lead the group." Here, readers are allowed to see what the character is thinking, something the other characters of the story may not know. It allows for a lot of irony to be used and also brings the reader closer to the happenings of the story because, in many ways, this point of view is similar to the first person point of view.
And, finally, in the omniscient point of view, the narrator has access to any and every part of the story. Nothing is out of reach. "With a trembling hand, he lifted the megaphone to his mouth and spoke to the crowd. He hoped he would not make the same embarrassing mistake he made the last time he tried to lead the group. The crowd members were anxious. Some of them whispered behind their hands, recalling the incident last week when his blunder had resulted in an arena full of laughter. Though he would never hear of it directly, they had all started calling him 'Flubbermouth'. Sitting in the front row with her hands folded in her lap, Christine Adell pitied him." The omniscient point of view has been less fashionable in a lot of contemporary literature, but its power can still be seen in the classics. My hero, Leo Tolstoy, for example, was such a supreme master of omniscience that he not only went inside the minds of characters in a hunting scene section of Anna Karenina, but he also went into the minds of the dogs.