The WebP team at Google focuses on making the web better through smaller, faster-loading images. We’ve seen that WebP compares favorably with other contemporary image formats, but our team has been hard at work to make WebP even faster and more capable. A few months ago, we added support for animated WebP images to Chrome, making WebP the first unified format that can address the key use cases of JPEG, PNG and GIF files. The recent release of libwebp 0.4.0, currently in Chrome’s Beta channel, is a culmination of numerous encoder and decoder optimizations that make encoding lossless images twice as fast, and decrease lossless decode time by 25%.

While the WebP team was delivering these improvements, other teams at Google have been busy deploying WebP in their own products. Google Play’s online store, redesigned mid-last year, replaced png images with lossless WebP, reducing image file sizes by nearly 35%. Another major WebP rollout is currently in progress: YouTube video thumbnails are starting to be served in WebP with initial results indicating up to a 10% reduction in page load time.

All the rollouts within Google combined have raised our aggregate data transfer savings tally to tens of terabytes every day. For users, this translates into faster page load times and fewer bytes counted against metered data plans. To speed up browsing on sites that don’t serve WebP yet, Chrome for Android and iOS can use Chrome’s Data Compression Proxy, which transcodes images to WebP on the fly in order to deliver image compression of over 60%.

To developers outside of Google, the data transfer savings and user benefits of WebP are within easy reach. Growing support from CDNs and accept content negotiation make it easier than ever to enable wide scale, seamless delivery of WebP images to Chrome users. To find out more, visit the WebP developer site or reach out to us using our public discussion group.

Posted by Husain Bengali, Product Manager and WebP Optimizer