Update April 2024: With iOS 17, videos are only reduced to 720p, 30fps when on cellular. If you send a video while on WiFi, the original video will be sent.

Images sent over messaging apps are compressed before being delivered. This makes messsages faster to send, but comes at a cost of visual fidelity.


iMessage has the highest image quality, with HEIF encoding at size similiar to Discord’s JPEG encoding.

One caveat with iMessage is that if you share a 48MP RAW image, iMessage will downsize the image to 12MP before sharing.

  Original iMessage Discord WhatsApp Signal Instagram
Resolution (MP) 12 12 12 0.8 3 1
Size (MB) 1.1 1.2 1.3 0.1 0.6 0.2


iMessage has the highest video quality, using HEVC encoding at 720p video, but the framerate is dropped to 30fps. Any panning shot becomes noticibly choppy with the loss of framerate.

Vidoes shared via WhatsApp and Instagram are almost unusable because of the compression.

  Original iMessage Discord WhatsApp Signal Instagram
Resolution (height) 2160 2160 480 480 360 268
Framerate (fps) 60 60 30 60 60 30
Encoding HEVC HEVC H.264 H.264 H.264 H.264
Size (MB) 46.8 46.8 1.20 0.74 1.80 0.22


If you care about image or video quality, don’t use messaging apps for sharing. Use methods that preserve full quality, like AirDrop or an iCloud Link.