Alongside a video compression settings test, WhatsApp has started testing customized image compression options through its beta program.
WhatsApp has launched a new beta feature that lets users customize the quality of images sent through the app. WhatsApp has introduced multiple features through its beta program recently, as the app looks to keep its audience from migrating to other platforms like Telegram. For example, the social media platform recently began beta testing expiring messages in chat rooms, a feature comparable to some of Snapchat’s more basic functionality.
Owned by Facebook, WhatsApp has spent the better part of the year recovering from the fallout of a new privacy update related to the information shared with Facebook. As a result, many users fled the app, which caused WhatsApp to delay the update as it performed damage control. Ultimately, the updated policy rolled out, but with assurances that users could continue using the app without accepting the new terms, for now.
According to WABetaInfo, the 2.21.146 beta update is testing a few options allowing users to send photos over the app at a higher quality than usual. When accessing the “Media upload quality” section of the “Storage and data” setting, beta users can choose one of three image quality options: auto, best, and data saver. The “auto” feature will have WhatsApp detect the best compression quality for specific images. While perhaps not removing compression entirely, using the “best” option will allow the app to send an image at the highest quality available. The “data saver” function will result in the app compressing every image sent to ensure quick and data cheap delivery.
How It Fits In With Facebook’s WhatsApp Goals
WhatsApp finally began testing custom compression on videos recently too. Facebook aims to bring on more custom options for users as the company attempts to make WhatsApp ubiquitous across multiple devices and do what it can to remove media compression to improve the cross-device user experience. Not only that, but focusing on cross-device support allows WhatsApp users to transfer their accounts and app history to newer devices even more easily.
Currently, this functionality is only available to users in the WhatsApp beta program, which is full. Hopefully, over the next few weeks and months, both the video and photo quality features will be rolled out with more clarity around how well they remove compression from uploaded media. The workarounds needed to send uncompressed media through WhatsApp, such as sending media as a ZIP file through an external app, have always been less than ideal. So this is likely to be a welcome change by WhatsApp users.
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