After introducing the open source video format, WebM last year and then implementing it in YouTube last month, it looks like Google is starting to embrace another open source format. This time it’s image compression technology – WebP. Google has officially announced that they’ve improved the compression algorithm in the format, increasing quality while reducing the file size of the image.
They’ve also announced that WebP is now natively supported in Chrome and Opera. Google products such as Gmail and Picasa Web Albums adds support to WebP so you can share, send, and receive WebP images. WebP support is also coming to the AppEngine, and Google Instant Previews also store images in WebP to reduce storage needs.
It looks like they’re really pushing the format on their side of things. Hopefully it won’t be another half-hearted push like WebM. There’s no telling if Apple or Microsoft will be supporting WebP in the future, but I guess it’ll be up to Google to turn WebP into something they can’t resist adopting. If you’d like to find out more about how you can create images in WebP, head over to the Google Chromium blog.
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