Facebook's Messenger service has gained support for sending HD-quality video, and sending 360 degree photos between users and in groups. This feature update, naturally, also brings the ability to send panoramic photos. Panoramic and 360 degree photos can be viewed right within the app, or in a separate viewer. These can also be viewed by clicking and dragging on the web version of Messenger. All users have to do is send panoramic or 360 degree media, or HD videos, just as they would any other, straight from the camera roll or within the Messenger app. In the case of panoramic and 360 degree photos, Facebook will automatically touch them up before sending, if needed, to make them as immersive as possible for recipients. It should be noted, however, that HD-quality video refers to videos up to 720p in resolution, and the quality of video calls will not be affected by this update.
Users within the app will see special markers denoting what type of content a thumbnail represents. 360 degree or panoramic photos will have a small compass icon on them, while videos will be marked with an HD or SD icon. While in full-screen mode, you can tap on the marker for HD videos to reduce them to SD quality in order to save data and space. All of these types of content can also be shared between Messenger threads with copy and paste functionality.
This latest update is yet another front in Facebook's mass push to make Messenger the de facto platform for sharing all sorts of content between users. While large 1080p and 4K videos are still off limits, along with a number of other file types, the majority of social sharing between Messenger users on smartphones can be covered by these new features. Now, users can share an immersive, high-definition look at their current surroundings and what's going on wherever they are with their loved ones, no matter how far away they may be. The option to reduce HD videos to SD before downloading and displaying them is helpful to users on limited data plans or with limited storage or signal, especially internationally, but it is worth noting that there is no such option for high-resolution panoramic and 360 degree content.