Google announces new photo format: WebP

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WebP (pronounced weppy) has been under development by Google and reduces file sizes by 40 percent compared to JPEGs. That means faster downloads from websites and less strain on networks.

Richard Rabbat, product manager at Google explains why they made the decision to develop WebP, “Most of the common image formats on the web today were established over a decade ago and are based on technology from around that time. Some engineers at Google decided to figure out if there was a way to further compress lossy images like JPEG to make them load faster, while still preserving quality and resolution. As part of this effort, we are releasing a developer preview of a new image format, WebP, that promises to significantly reduce the byte size of photos on the web, allowing web sites to load faster than before.”

Google is working hard to make this a new standard and has been in discussions with browser developers to gather support. Not surprisingly, we can expect to see WebP support in Chrome in the next few weeks.