For long-time WhatsApp users, the days when sending links was a pain are still fresh in the memory. For the longest time, the links were accompanied by very short previews, no thumbnails, etc. After a long while, the Meta (Facebook)-owned social platform has finally emulated Telegram, rolling out an update for better image previews for links. And now, it’s releasing a similar feature for document previews too. WhatsApp image sending may therefore soon be a vastly much experience.
According to WABetaInfo, WhatsApp will is about to introduce an update to generate a proper preview when images and videos are shared as documents. The feature is currently live on WhatsApp beta version 188.8.131.52 and should be rolling out to everyone in the coming weeks.
As those who send multiple images on the messenger service will testify, this update is long overdue. For one thing, WhatsApp reduces image quality in the course of transmitting them, despite the introduction of an option which is supposed to maintain image quality. This policy seems especially pointless when you consider that difference in size between the data-saving compression and the original file is minimal.
As such, the only true way to retain an image’s original quality on WhatsApp is to send it as a document. But even that has its downsides. One of them is that the recipient currently cannot tell what the doc contains without opening it. They only get to see a garbled file name and extension. However, the new update will introduce those much-needed previews when an image arrives, just like those that have been available for PDF documents for a few years now.
One can only hope that Meta fixes the other issues with WhatsApp image sending, such as the one that prevents image documents from showing up in the media grid when browsing the gallery, and another that prevents users from sending images backed up to Google Photos (but no longer on the device storage) as documents. Better still, the company ought to improve regular image sharing, adding a proper option that maintains the actual quality of a media file. Until it does this, WhatsApp will continue to play second fiddle to big-time rival Telegram, at least in the media department.