|Internet media type|
|Initial release||September 30, 2010|
|Type of format|
|Contained by||Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF)|
1.0.3 / July 4, 2019
WebP is a highly compressing image format supporting both lossy and lossless compression. It is developed by Google using much of the same underlying technology used to compress VP9 video. WebP is supported by all the major web browsers once Apple releases iOS14 and macOS 11 with Safari 14.
WebP can be used to storage any image for any purpose but it was not developed for general-purpose image storage in mind. Google made it specifically for web use.
WebP is outright amazing when it compared to JPEG, PNG and other image formats that are common on the world wide web. While the following is not at all even remotely scientific, it is worth considering: Humble has an affiliate program that allows "partners" to earn a small percentage of sales generated by those who click links on partner sites. They make "marketing assets" available to those who participate in this program. These assets are distributed by them as PNG images. Running
convert, from ImageMagick, with no extra arguments on a series of those images produce the following results:
|File||Original PNG image||PNG, after pngquant||JPG||WebP|
The WebP images in this random example are five to fifteen times smaller than the original PNG images and three to four times smaller than the JPEG images.
The storage savings are not as huge when it comes to photos. The following is a table comparing the file size of a series of images taken with a Redmi 4 Prime smartphone using the default stock photo application on it which saves images as JPEG files. The "JPEG to JPEG" column show file sizes after the images are "converted" from JPEG to JPEG using the ImageMagick
convert tool and WebP refers to the file size after the original JPEG has been converted to WebP using
|File||Original (JPG)||JPEG to JPEG||WebP|
The original file size is reduced by between half and a third when photos are converted from JPEG to WebM. Do note that visual quality is outright ignored in this example. The original JPEG images looks identical to the WebM image files through my glasses. Yours may or may not be cleaner than my glasses.
Web Browser Support
|Edge||Falkon||Firefox||Internet Explorer||Opera||Safari for macOS|
|Android Browser||Baidu Browser||Chrome for Android||Firefox for Android||Opera Mobile||Safari for iOS||Samsung Internet||QQ Browser|
This is where it gets a bit dicey. Modern Linux distributions do come with the libraries required to view and manipulate WebP images but there is a sad lack of support in many applications. Several good image viewers like geeqie simply can't into WebP. There are quite a few, notably older, programs that do not support it.
The GNU Image Manipulation Program can open and save WebP images.
All programs made using the KDE frameworks, such as the gwenview image viewer and the kolourPaint image editor, support WebP.