If you’ve noticed a big difference between the quality of the photos and videos on your phone and the versions you upload to Facebook, you’re not imagining things: by default, the Facebook mobile clients upload photos and videos using lower quality settings. Let’s fix that.
When you upload media from your phone to Facebook from the iOS or Android mobile application, the application is configured with cellular-data-friendly settings that significantly reduce the quality of your uploads. It’s noticeable with photos if you have an eye for detail (and you’re looking at them on a big computer screen after the fact), but it’s beyond obvious with video. Mobile video uploaded with the default settings looks like it was shot with a 2005-era flip phone. (Just look at the above comparison if you don’t believe me—that’s the exact same video, the Facebook-uploaded version on the left.)
Clearly, the low-resolution setting might be great for saving data, but absolutely awful for quality. Fortunately, it’s really easy to switch from the low-resolution default to the high-resolution “HD” setting. The only downside, as you might have already surmised, is that you’ll increase your cellular data usage by uploading the larger files.
One big caveat before we continue: for some inexplicable reason the Facebook for Android mobile app doesn’t support HD video uploads (but the Facebook mobile website does). Given that Facebook’s Android app has always lagged behind in features, you might just want to give up on it and use the mobile website.
How to Enable HD Uploads
With just a short jaunt into the settings menu, you can increase the quality of your uploads in mere moments. While we’re using Facebook for iOS here, you can apply the same changes to Facebook for Android too. Launch the app and select the menu icon in the lower corner.
Within the menu, select “Settings”.
Within the resulting pop-up menu, select “Account Settings”.
Scroll down to “Videos and Photos”, then select it.
Within the “Videos and Photos” menu you’ll see the default state, which is “Upload HD” off for both Video and Photo Settings.
Toggle one or both of the settings on, per your needs.
Now when you upload new content from your mobile device, the resolution of your photos and videos will be higher and your videos won’t look like you shot them a 1990s-era webcam.