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Google Pushes WebP Image Format Over JPEG and PNG to Save Bandwidth and Improve Speed
engine

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 6:36 pm on Feb 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Since speed is critical for a good experience when using the web, at Google we’re always exploring ways to make the web faster. As it turns out, one of the biggest bang-for-the-buck ways to do that is by replacing JPEG and PNG images with WebP. WebP offers significantly better compression than these legacy formats (around 35% better in most cases), and when you consider that over 60% of typical page sizes are images, the benefits can be substantial. WebP translates directly into less bandwidth consumption, decreased latency, faster page loads, better battery consumption on mobile, and overall happier users.

Google Pushes WebP Image Format Over JPEG and PNG to Save Bandwidth and Improve Speed [blog.chromium.org]
By converting PNGs and JPEGs to WebP, the Chrome Web Store was able to reduce image sizes by about 30% on average (here’s one sample image in WebP at 8.3kB and JPEG at 32kB). Given the number of requests Chrome Web Store serves, this adds up to several terabytes of savings every day.


 

diberry

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 3:05 pm on Feb 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Pardon my ignorance, as I'm just a poor webmaster running GIMP to edit my images, but how do we convert to this thing? I've never even heard of it.

yaix2

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 3:49 pm on Feb 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

@diberry - Simply install the codec and save as WebP.

superclown2

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 3:59 pm on Feb 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Can all browsers recognise this and display it correctly?

Leosghost

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 5:09 pm on Feb 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Chrome and Opera native "support" only..Mozilla ( Firefox ) will not support, "wont fix".. [arstechnica.com...]

Other browsers and software "support" WebP, with a plugin <= from Google ;)..Wikipedia article about the Google format [en.wikipedia.org...]

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 5:26 pm on Feb 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

"With a plug in from Google"

Proprietry then. No thanks.

SevenCubed

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 5:44 pm on Feb 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

I get by just fine with the current formats available. I always optimize images down to a bare minimum and it works just fine.

A WW member posted the name of another JPEG compression tool last week, I checked it out, and it did a very good job of further compressing JPEGs that I thought I couldn't squeeze anymore KB's out of. It was no good for gradient images though -- degraded them. Then a few days ago I found one for PNGs that reduced file sizes by a whooping 80% without any loss of quality.

Until now I had avoided using PNGs due to their larger file size and not being able to compress them enough for my liking. I prefer their transparency ability over GIFs and can now use them.

with a plugin <= from Google

As it relates to google it would best be termed a parasite. One which has now seriously infected the internet.

Leosghost

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 6:05 pm on Feb 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Then a few days ago I found one for PNGs that reduced file sizes by a whooping 80% without any loss of quality.

?

BTW ..I won't be using WebP either..for quality reasons, and all the reasons mentioned in posts above..beware of Goog's bearing "gifts"..

SevenCubed

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 6:21 pm on Feb 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

?

TinyPNG for PNGs and JPEGmini for JPGs.

I use GIMP and even with maximum compression for PNGs I can variably reduce them by another 50%-85% with TinyPNG. You'll know you landed on the proper site if you see a panda.

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 6:56 pm on Feb 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

With the sheer size of Google's client base, this could easily become the tipping point for Chrome adoption if Google starts shoving WebP down their throats.

For instance, switching just one massively popular service like YouTube to only use formats supported by Chrome would pretty much make a lot of people addicted to YouTube switch browsers and cause a massive shift in the balance of power overnight.

This could be amusing to see how it plays out.

SevenCubed

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 7:04 pm on Feb 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've been aware of WebP for almost 2 years now when it first reared it's head. I think if anything like that was going to happen it would have by now.

Besides that, google might have more to loose within the internet development community than they would have to gain from chrome adoption.

By now I'm sure they are well aware of the growing momentum of anti-google sentiment. I don't think they would consider throwing more fuel on the fire.

Leosghost

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 7:05 pm on Feb 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

For instance, switching just one massively popular service like YouTube to only use formats supported by Chrome would pretty much make a lot of people addicted to YouTube switch browsers and cause a massive shift in the balance of power overnight.

Easily solved ..install SRWare Iron <= Chrome without the "Googly bits" ;)

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 7:29 pm on Feb 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

I read some time back about Google converting YouTube videos to some new storage format, starting with those with the most traffic. Whatever that format is, I do see a fall-off in picture quality, especially with artefacts being generated on some types of movement.

Samizdata

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 7:32 pm on Feb 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

From the referenced Wikipedia article:

IE6+ support is achieved by using Flash

Hard to see this as progress for displaying still images.

Until it is a cross-browser standard (as in "without a plugin") then I am not interested.

...

swa66

WebmasterWorld Senior Member swa66 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 11:18 pm on Feb 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Then a few days ago I found one for PNGs that reduced file sizes by a whooping 80% without any loss of quality

I'll take your word that you got it 80% smaller, but I refute the "without any loss of quality" with vigor. As that's simply not going to happen unless it's an extremely simple image and stored really poorly. What I presume it should say is that's it without all too much loss of quality - but not without *any* loss of quality.
And then "all too much" becomes subject for debate...

png-8's can seem on first looks quite fine it you reduce the number of colors they can contain but there is a lot of quality loss in that process even if it might not be all too obvious on first looks.

SevenCubed

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 11:26 pm on Feb 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'll take your word that you got it 80% smaller...

It was actually 83% but I rounded it down. And I'm taking their word for it I didn't actually do the math myself. It was just a whole bunch and that was good enough for me. I did study the contrast between the two intently afterward and I didn't see any loss of quality.

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 1:38 am on Feb 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google bought the technology so instead of using other people's technology it makes sense they would want to make their investment go as far as possible, if for no other reason than to be a big bully and push people around just like MS does.

For instance, the whole world used Apache and LAMP but MS had to shove IIS and ASP down our throats just because they could. We already had Flash but here comes Silverlight whether you like it or not.

MS had an advantage since they had their own OS and browser which was the dominant OS and browser they could instantly make anything they added a 'standard' regardless of whether any other browser on the planet adopted the technology or not. The more proprietary stuff MS could stick on the web, the more tightly customers would get tied to MS for all their needs.

Apple does the same thing with Safari and Quicktime, and all the other Mac formats and iCrud, etc.

Google obviously wants to be in that same situation and since has created Chrome which has finally gotten significant market share. While Google may not own the OS, which they attempted and failed with Chromebook, they have several wildly popular dominant web services which in combination of Chrome can easily be used to create their own proprietary web stuff.

Get use to it because Firefox and Opera are about the only two independent mainstream browsers left and neither have enough clout to do what Firefox is doing, which is to tell Google, Apple or Microsoft they won't support something because the simple matter is it will inevitably cost those browser only vendors market share which they're lucky to keep at this point.

If it wasn't for the vast library of Firefox add-ons I think it would've been a footnote long ago so they should tread lightly.

albo

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 1:53 am on Feb 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thank you, incrediBill. Exactly what I was thinking. I would have added our ol' pal Adobe, famous for, among other things, PDFs.

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 2:42 am on Feb 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

I would have added our ol' pal Adobe, famous for, among other things, PDFs.


Funny you mention PDFs because Adobe used to be where Google headquarters is in Mtn. View and I used to work next door on Landings Drive at an email company acquired by Lotus. We had some meetings with the fine people at Adobe way back when as they were looking for input on a universal file format that could be used to exchange data via email or other methods that anyone could read which I assume became PDF and solved a really big problem.

People may give PDF and Flash a lot of grief, but I don't think we'd be nearly as far along as we are if those things hadn't been invented because they both solved a very real need that nobody else was interested in solving at the time.

My solution to viewing file attachments at the time, pre-dating PDF, was to include the document data conversion filters from Lotus AmiPro word processor that allowed us to render most common proprietary formats, and there was a BUNCH back then, to common text. You guys don't know how easy it is to exchange data today but when the PDF finally arrived was a godsend.

Another reason Word and Excel rose to dominance was data interchangeability issues.

All I can say to Firefox is 'buck up' because supporting one little format is trivial and if they were smart they'd have a simple file format rendering layer that allowed anyone to provide new formats as long as it fit their API and then we wouldn't even be having this conversation as Google would've provided the code for them.

It's not that hard to do, been there, done that, get with the program.

FYI, my wife worked for Macromedia which created ShockWave which later became Abode Flash which is why I have a bit of a soft spot for Flash.

mcneely

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 6:33 am on Feb 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm not so sure that I really want Google cling-ons attached to my browser .. I mean .. Google stuff is fine for others, but so far I've managed to keep my systems fairly Google free ..

If Google is tired of paying for the bandwidth, or paying their electric bill, or are quite possibly getting tired of building more server farms, then that's not really my problem ..

I'll render and keep my graphics and images the way they are .. I'll let Google go thru the time and the expense to render whatever graphics and images they feel they have to ..

heh .. I'm sort of reminded of Yahoo's RTML language .. in that, no one but Yahoo uses it.

I'm seeing Google's WebP image format in much the same way as that ..

Cheers

as an aside .. @incrediBILL .. I really wish that Macromedia would have never sold out to Adobe ..

chrisv1963

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 7:51 am on Feb 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

If Google is tired of paying for the bandwidth


This might explain why they are stealing our bandwidth in the new image search ...

Sgt_Kickaxe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 12:49 pm on Feb 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Mozilla's Jeff Muizelaar calls the format "half baked".

A good number of my visitors use Firefox so I'm out as well.

ergophobe

WebmasterWorld Administrator ergophobe us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 5:10 pm on Feb 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

While Google may not own the OS


Au contraire IncrediBill - they *do* own the OS as you mentioned and I backed up with numbers in a recent thread on January 1 -http://www.webmasterworld.com/msft/4531296.htm [webmasterworld.com].

Android is now the leading OS in the world and the fastest growing. Sure, not on the desktop, but who cares about the desktop anymore?

If every Android-based web-enabled device from Android phones to the Kindle Fire tablets upgraded to an Android distro with WebP rolled in, that would cover over 42% of all brwosing devices right now and that proportion is growing.

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 5:38 pm on Feb 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

but who cares about the desktop anymore?


Businesses.

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 5:41 pm on Feb 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Android is now the leading OS in the world and the fastest growing.


Au contraire, Linux is the leading OS.

Not to mention we were discussing desktops, not mobile, as the primary focus was on Firefox that is only now just starting to get into mobile.

4serendipity

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 4:31 pm on Feb 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

include the document data conversion filters from Lotus AmiPro word processor that allowed us to render most common proprietary formats, and there was a BUNCH back then


Wow, that takes me back. I remember using Ami when they were still owned by Samna. I also remember having quickview as one of my most used apps. I have no desire to go back to those days.

intheshadows



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 4:32 pm on Feb 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google's virtual head is so big these days they think they can be as proprietary as Microsoft was in the day.

Nothing against the big G really, but it is getting VERY tiresome seeing "G" says do it this way, "G" says do that, "G" says this is best, "G" says my link is 'over optimized'?...

If people would stop acting like their "G" stands for god, it wouldn't, and can't. But webmaster especially fall all over themselves to bow at the feet of the interne-god: Google.

I think it's getting a bit on the crAzY side...the "Outer Limits" or "Twilight Zone" circa 2013...

mcneely

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4543892 posted 10:25 am on Apr 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

... but who cares about the desktop anymore? ..


I might have some kind of difficulty doing what I do for a living on a hand-held device .. Desktops/Laptops can often times play a fairly critical role in how you view what you view in a hand-held device ..

just sayin'

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