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WhatsApp video is about to get a lot less awful – here’s why

Sending video via WhatsApp has been a generally poor experience due to company’s insistence on compressing the hell out of videos to keep the file size low.

In some instances that’s practical, because the time and data required to send (and download) the clip is significantly lessened than if you were shipping 4K and 8K video to all and sundry.

WhatsApp video quality
Image credit: WABetaInfo

However, it’d be good to have the choice, when the situation demands your best efforts and the best possible quality, right? Well, finally, WhatsApp is planning to allow users to dictate the quality of the video file in a future update.

Right now, the company uses an algorithm to determine your connection speed when deciding how to compress the file, but change is coming. The good folks at WABetaInfo (of course) have spied a “video upload quality” setting in the latest beta for Android. It enables users to select Auto, Data Saver or Best Quality.

In a screenshot published by the site, it doesn’t appear as if best available translates as original quality, so if you’re shooting 8K video on your Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, for example, you may not get every pixel in there.

It also appears the setting will apply to videos in general, rather than being an option each time you attempt to send a video. Users will need to go into the storage and data settings in order to make the adjustments when the feature rolls out to everyone.

In its report, WABetaInfo says the feature is still under development and will be available in a future update. WhatsApp is working on plenty of new features pertaining to images and videos right now, including the ability to send ‘View Once’ content. Those pics and clips will disappear once the recipient has dismissed the message.

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