WhatsApp photos can now look better than ever thanks to 'HD' support

Users of WhatsApp can now choose to send their photos in a new HD format to preserve more of the detail and resolution of the original images.

1 minute & 39 seconds read time

Users of the WhatsApp instant messaging service can now send photos in a higher quality than ever thanks to a new feature that has been announced by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Taking time out from not fighting X CEO Elon Musk, Zuckerberg posted on Facebook that people can now use the new HD photos option when sending an image via the instant messaging app. WhatsApp has long supported sending photos and even videos to one or multiple people, but this is the first time there has been a wide rollout of HD support. WhatsApp had previously tested allowing people to send HD photos using the iPhone TestFlight beta version of the app before rolling it out to everyone.

Thanks to HD photos, those who share images will now be able to keep the higher resolution of the original image when sending it to their recipient, whereas previously WhatsApp would downscale it to save on things like data usage. It still will, by default, but a new HD button at the top of the photo-sharing screen will allow people to override that setting from here on out. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be any way to change the default behavior, however.

WhatsApp says that standard quality remains the default to ensure that the sharing of photos remains a fast and reliable experience, although we can only hope that the decision changes in the future. As more and more people live in areas blanketed with at least 4G, and often 5G service such low-bandwidth options don't seem to be quite as important anymore.

As for the availability of this new feature, Whatsapp says that HD photos are starting to roll out globally now but it could take a few weeks before the change is available to everyone. There is also talk of HD videos coming in the future as well, so that's something to look forward to.

The WhatsApp app and indeed the entire service is free and you can download it via the App Store on the iPhone and Google Play Store on Androidd devices. Versions for the Mac and Windows computers are also available as well.

WhatsApp is far from the only app of its kind of course. The messages sent and received via WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted, but other services are available that do the same thing including iMessage, although that's only available to those using Apple devices like iPhones, Macs, Apple Watches, and iPads for obvious reasons.

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Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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