Back in March, Google Photos sped up backups and sharing in low connectivity areas by first uploading lightweight previews of images. Google is now applying that same principle to videos by uploading a low-res copy that can be used for immediate sharing.
Version 3.6 of Google Photos for Android began rolling out earlier this week and completed today. The updated Play Store release notes only mention this one feature:
Faster video sharing
We’ve reduced the wait time for sharing videos in Google Photos by uploading low-res copies for sharing, and later replacing them with the high-res versions.
In version 2.11, the app would upload a “lightweight preview” of an image so that users in low-bandwidth regions would not have to wait to share pictures through a Google Photos link. This feature was geared towards backups over 2G connectivity, with the full version being uploaded once on Wi-Fi. Afterwards, those shared images would automatically be updated to the full version.
Given that videos — especially those in 4K resolution — are still too large for most connections, Photos brought over the principle of first uploading a “low-res” copy. Google does not specify the exact resolution of this initial version, but it is most likely adequate for casual viewing.