Google brought its WebP Image Format to compete with PNG and JPEG back in 2010. The images using WebP are usually 45% smaller in size than PNG and JPEF which is great for websites as it helps reduce page load times.
Firefox had remained rebellious to WebP until now. The browser now supports WebP, 8 years after it became a standard for Google Chrome and Chromium based browsers such as Opera.
Mozilla originally rejected the use to WebP claiming that it doesn’t offer enough improvements, The browser supported JPEG and PNG while evaluating the use of Google’s image format every now and then.
At this point, the format is only supported on Windows PCs and Android-based devices. Support for iOS devices such as Mac won’t roll out until the first half of 2019, according to Mozilla.
Why It Took So Long?
It is a big deal to use a new image format for the web. It presents numerous technical challenges, as well as, new security threats. Mozilla wanted to make sure WebP is the right way to go before implementing its support for years to come. According to Mozilla, a number of developments are coming together which means we may see a wider and accelerated adoption of WebP. In fact, Mozilla thinks Microsoft’s Edge may soon support the platform as well.
Mozilla is not only supporting WebP but the company is also looking at other in development options, namely AVIF. WebP is based on Google’s VP8 video compression technology while AVIF is using a brand new video format, AV1.
Mozilla stated that it is looking at AVIF and is contributing to its development. The non-profit organization has invested in the new format. Other companies developing AVIF include Google, Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook.
Apple is the only one left out right now. The company did use WebP briefly in testing for Safari but removed it after a while.