Now you can share photos and videos in HD on WhatsApp

WhatsApp might be the most popular chat app in the world, but it hasn’t always been the best for sending photos and videos. The app traditionally had a 16MB limit on any media you sent, and, even still, compressed it to save space. That compression resulted in lower quality images and videos, which is frustrating in a time when smartphones have incredible cameras.

Luckily for those of us on WhatsApp, things are about to get a lot less blurry. Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday, Aug. 11 that WhatsApp now supports high quality photo-sharing—although you might have missed the option if you weren’t looking for it. The update didn’t include support for HD videos, however, until the company quietly updated the app a week later.

How to send high-quality photos and videos on WhatsApp

Now, when you attempt to share a photo or video in WhatsApp, you might see a new “HD” button, located next to the crop tool, that allows you to choose whether to send it in “standard quality” or “HD quality.” The former applies the same compression WhatsApp has used on images for years, and which noticeably reduces the quality when you’re sharing larger photos. The new “HD quality” option allows you to share your photos and videos with more detail, closer to what you’d expect sharing a photo in an app like Apple’s Messages.

However, “HD” videos isn’t exactly what you might think it is. It maxes out at 720p, even if your original video was recorded in 1080p or 4K, which means WhatsApp is still compressing the video quite a lot. Still, it’s better than standard quality, which drops the resolution to around 480p, so videos have never looked better on WhatsApp than they do after this update.

Likewise, WhatsApp still applies some compression to photos sent via the HD Quality setting, so even now, you won’t be able to send HD photos in their native resolution. But they’ll also look much better than they did before, perhaps better than their “HD” video counterparts.

In addition, the option only appears for media large enough to justify HD quality in the first place. If WhatsApp doesn’t think the photo or video is high-quality enough, you’ll only be able to send it in SD.

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