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Google creates new image format for the web: WebP

As part of a Google initiative to make the web faster, the Mountain View giant has frequently launched tools to help site owners accelerate their projects.

?We launched the Page Speed ??extension for Firefox to evaluate the performance of web pages and get suggestions on how to improve them, we also introduced the Speed ??Tracer extension for Chrome to help and identify performance problems in web applications, and we launched a set of tools to help developers build fully optimized web applications with JavaScript code ?.

While these tools have been extremely successful, Google has noted that there is a single component of web pages that is constantly responsible for the majority of latency on web pages: images.

Some engineers at Google then decided to find out if there was a way to continue to compress images like JPEG and make loading faster, while preserving quality and resolution. As part of this effort, the company released a preview of a new image format, WebP, which promises to significantly reduce the size of photo bytes and allows Web sites to load faster than before.

The format was developed with the compression format of the VP8 video codec and has a shorter loading time, since there is a reduction in the number of bytes in the photos. Soon, WebP will also support transparencies, allowing you to replace PNG. Chrome should soon get a conversion patch for the browser to support the format.

?Images and photographs make up about 65% of the bytes transmitted per webpage today. They can significantly slow the user?s experience on the web, especially in bandwidth over limited networks like mobile networks. ?

Those interested, can try the conversion tool to the format and also view a gallery which brings a comparison of the new format with JPEG.