Google is promoting a new image format called WebP – pronounced weppy. They announced it last September. At that time, they said,
Some engineers at Google decided to figure out if there was a way to further compress lossy images like JPEG to make them load faster, while still preserving quality and resolution. As part of this effort, we are releasing a developer preview of a new image format, WebP, that promises to significantly reduce the byte size of photos on the web, allowing web sites to load faster than before.
It’s supported in Chrome and Opera at this time. Just this week, the Chromium Blog announced WebP in Chrome, Picasa, Gmail With a Slew of New Features and Improvements with even more support for the format. This post also details recent quality improvements in the way WebP images are created.
Use either Chrome or Opera to look at this gallery. You can see the bandwidth savings WebP offers.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can start producing WebP images right now, see the Chromium blog and the WebP Home page. There are available Photoshop plug-ins, open source tools, and other tools for working with WebP images.
You might also be interested in reading this critical article by Jeff Muizelaar.