WebP is another image format from Google. Google has designed it to make images that are indistinguishable for PNGs or JPG visually but that of smaller file sizes. In turn, that results in faster loading website pages.

Google has designed the image format to use an aggressive and optimized compression algorithm than both PNG and JPG to minimize the size of files and maintain the initial quality. As a result, the webpages consume lesser bandwidth and load faster. Your website visitors will be happier, and the search engine (Google) will also be happier – they are now favouring the fast loading websites over the slow loading ones in search rankings.

Photographers care about the quality of their images. Heavier compression can make photos appear ugly, which means that compression is a trade-off between the quality of images and their file size. Google targets the WebP format at the intersection of the two things. Google developers did not work to reinvent the JPG. After acquiring a video encoding company, Google realized that the technology worked perfectly on still images. After that, they open-sourced the codecs.

WebP offers two great benefits. The first one relates to the reduced file size without the loss of quality. How small a WebP image can be about its JPG equivalent highly varies by several factors, but Google claims that the images are reduced by around 25-35 per cent. They also claim that when a user switches his/her YouTube thumbnails to WebP, the loading speed increases by around 10 per cent. The other benefit relates to the combination of features that have never been combined into a single format before. The file format combines the benefits of GIF, PNG and JPG formats.

Perhaps, you have been using WebP images. Facebook adopted it for the Android apps, and YouTube thumbnails are now available in WebP format for people using Opera, Chrome and Android devices. And even though the number of websites using the file format at the moment is low, the users are happy with the results.

Even though Google announced it in the year 2010, Webb is still an emerging format. In other words, it is not compatible with all browsers. At the moment, only Opera and Chrome support the format. Firefox developers had opposed it at first, but they changed their heart, and they are likely to include it into the browser shortly. Safari and Internet Explorer do not support the new format.