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Facebook to Firefox: Please add WebP image support

Engineers for the powerful Web site like Google's image format and are encouraging Mozilla to support it in Firefox.

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Stephen Shankland Former Principal Writer
Stephen Shankland worked at CNET from 1998 to 2024 and wrote about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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Stephen Shankland
2 min read
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Facebook's engineers like Google's WebP and want Mozilla to build support for the image format into the Firefox browser.

Google hopes to speed Web performance with the image format, which can do the job of both of today's major graphics formats, JPEG and PNG. Facebook began testing WebP support in April.

And now it looks like the powerful company has become Google's biggest ally in the effort to promote WebP. Mozilla is deciding whether to reverse its earlier opposition to WebP, and Facebook programmer Bryan Alger on Wednesday encouraged Firefox developers to do so in a comment on Mozilla's WebP bug tracker Wednesday:

I am the Facebook engineer examining the adoption of webp as a serving format. We are very excited about the new format and keeping a close eye on the community to monitor adoption. It is entirely likely we will be serving webp images in some capacity in the short term after we address user complaints from our limited testing. It goes without saying, we would love to see webp support coming to Firefox soon.

WebP currently is supported in Chrome, Opera, and Android.

However, support for WebP is rare in major image-editing software, making it hard for designers to use right now and hard for people to handle image files they want to download from the Web.

Several Facebook users who were in the WebP test complained about that issue. Lack of WebP support means people can't view, edit, or share images conveniently.

Correction, May 9 at 7:55 a.m. PT: This story was updated to note that Opera already supports WebP.