WhatsApp is rolling out an update for ‘HD photo sharing’ on iOS and Android

Finally! No looking for workarounds to send images as documents to retain quality (though this works only on Android). Ever since launch, users have had to do with Whatsapp’s in-built image compression tool, resulting in pictures being shared, which are poor in quality. That will soon be — thankfully — a thing of the past. WhatsApp seems to have unveiled a significant enhancement to its image-sharing capabilities through the introduction of HD photo sharing. This new feature allows users to send higher-quality, higher-resolution images through the messaging platform. While compressed to some extent for efficient transmission, these HD images offer improved visual clarity.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced the feature on Instagram, stating that users can now send images in HD quality. “Sharing photos on WhatsApp just got an upgrade,” Zuckerberg announced via his Meta broadcast channel on Instagram, as well as on a post on Facebook. “Now you can send in HD.”
This comes after the feature was in beta testing with select users.

The HD photo feature is gradually rolling out to WhatsApp users worldwide over the next few weeks, on iOS and Android alike. This enhancement allows users to share images with improved quality, low compression, and high resolution, benefiting both Android and iOS users, as well as those accessing WhatsApp via the web.

Once users get their hands on the new HD photo feature, they will notice a new HD gear icon when adding images to message threads. This icon activates the HD functionality, allowing users to select between standard quality and HD quality for the image they are about to send. The HD option provides two resolution choices: standard quality at 1600 x 1052 pixels and HD quality at 4096 x 2692 pixels.

While the images are compressed for efficient transmission, WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption ensures that the privacy and security of these images are maintained. This encryption extends to the higher-quality images shared through the platform. Recipients of HD photos will see an “HD” label displayed at the bottom left corner of the image, indicating that they have received a high-quality version. It’s noteworthy that the feature takes into consideration users with slow connections. In such cases, recipients have the choice to retain the standard quality version or upgrade to the HD version of the image, while users can preserve the image quality on large photos and send them in HD instead of a lower quality. The standard quality transmission will remain the default for senders.

Recipients of HD photos will see an “HD” label displayed at the bottom left corner of the image, indicating that they have received a high-quality version. WhatsApp is making provisions for users with slow connections as well. In such cases, recipients have the choice to retain the standard quality version or upgrade to the HD version of the image. And if this is not enough, support for HD videos is anticipated to follow soon. This means that users can look forward to sharing videos with higher resolution and clarity, enhancing the overall multimedia-sharing experience on the platform.