Following close upon the success of the WebM project, the royalty free video container format, Google is proposing to redo the entire web, once again, by offering an alternative to the JPEG image format.
Google has estimated that about 65% of the bytes transmitted per web page today consist of images. If we could compress these images, we could save a significant amount on bandwidth bills and also have a faster Internet experience. The WebP format attempts to achieve this.
WebP is a method of lossy compression that can be used on photographic images. The degree of compression is adjustable, just like JPEG, but the results are almost 40% smaller in size than the JPEG format.
Google has put together a demo gallery which shows few images on its original format, and in the new WebP format as well. It shows the percentage of difference in the size. There is also a conversion tool available that lets you convert JPEG images to WebP. The tool currently works only on Linux.
At present no browser supports the WebP format. Google expects to have native support for WebP in Chrome in a few weeks.
[via Chromium blog]