Facebook released a small update to Messenger this morning that makes the app a bit better for sharing photos and videos. Most notably, it’s adding support for 720p video. Unfortunately, this can’t be captured right from within the app — for some reason, it seems the in-app camera will remain lower resolution — but you’ll be able to share higher-resolution footage as long as it’s been captured in advance, either from your camera roll or the News Feed.
Messenger is also adding the ability to send 360-degree photos. Again, you’ll have to capture these photos outside of Messenger, but you’ll now be able to share them inside the app. Messenger will then convert them into images that can be dragged around to view the whole thing. Facebook itself has supported 360-degree photos (and videos) for some time now, so I’m kind of surprised this feature wasn’t previously available.
Today’s updates come on the heels of a photo-quality update in November, which brought support for 4K images. The photos do get compressed a bit, but I just tested a pair, and it’s not hugely noticeable. Though, again, don’t shoot using the in-app camera, as the quality is much worse.
These are largely features, and arguably features that Messenger should have had already, but it’s worth remembering that Facebook is supposed to be focused on paring down its chat app this year. In January, Messenger’s leader, David Marcus, admitted the app had become too cluttered and said that the company would “invest in massively simplifying and streamlining” the app. So far, we haven’t seen any signs of that happening.