For those that care about image quality, WhatsApp has never been a great place to share and view photos. It compresses images so they take up less storage space, but at the cost of detail. The good news is that’s changing right now.
Parent company Meta has announced a new HD option for images, allowing WhatsApp users to choose between the existing ‘standard’ version and something of higher quality. HD photos will be of a higher resolution, but also require more storage space.
In a short video uploaded to Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed a standard quality image of 1365×2048 becoming 2000×3000 in HD quality. Of course, these resolutions will vary depending on the aspect ratio of the photo you choose, but as any photographer (or mathematician) will know, that is a jump from just under 3- to 6 megapixels.
So we can’t celebrate being able to send original quality photos from our phones’ camera roll just yet. Perhaps sometime in the future.
Either way, it’s nice to have a boost in quality. All HD images feature a small icon in the top-right corner, allowing the recipient to clearly identify these higher quality images. For those on slower connections or with less storage space, the option to save the standard photo will also be available.
As WABetaInfo first reported, WhatsApp began testing the feature in June. It’s rolling out to all users on Android, iOS and the web over the next few weeks, with the new feature already available for some people.
Meta has also confirmed that an equivalent HD videos option will be coming soon, which is worth rejoicing over as well.
Neither HD photos or videos will have any effect on WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption, so you don’t have to trade privacy for better quality.