WhatsApp now lets you share photos and videos in their original quality

iPhone users can say goodbye to compression.

Unsplash/Dimitri Karastelev

WhatsApp is currently rolling out a new update for iOS users that allows people to share photos and videos over the messaging platform in their original quality, with no compression. The platform has been notorious for low-quality media transfers, even after an August update that brought a bit of high-def goodness to its compression algorithm, so this is a welcome change.

What’s the secret sauce here? As previously indicated, these media files aren’t compressed at all. Instead, the update treats media as standard data files. When you send one of these files, they aren’t transformed into previews for the chat window, but the recipient can click to view. You’ll still be able to send media the old-fashioned way, if losing the chat window preview thumbnails is a bridge too far.

With that said, this change isn’t automatic. You have to consciously decide to send an uncompressed image or video and click the “+” icon to transfer a document. The rest is self-explanatory. WhatsApp says this is a tiered rollout, so it could be a couple of weeks before it reaches your update box. As for Android, the company’s working on it, according to MacRumors, but there’s no release information.

This has been a big year for Meta's WhatsApp, as the messaging platform has been trying out all kinds of features. There was a dedicated Mac app back in August, with video calling capabilities for up to eight people, and a Windows client earlier in the year. It’s even testing AI-generated stickers and self-destructing voice notes, so you can treat your request for a pint of ice cream like a Mission Impossible adventure.