You may not have realized this, but Google has a lightweight image format that makes YouTube videos load up to 10 percent faster than normal. It’s all in a bid to make the Internet faster, even if you have a relatively slow Internet connection. The new(er) image format is called WebP, and it has been in use in the Google Play Store for some time; if you were to visit Google Play Store right now in your Chrome browser, the images that would load would be in WebP format.
How does WebP makes YouTube faster? Well, videos won’t load faster, if that’s what you’re thinking. In fact, only video thumbnails should see an improvement in loading times, which should also result in an overall 10 percent loading time of the page. Furthermore, it is expected to shave 10 terrabytes off Google’s internal server data rates on a daily basis.
While the WebP team was delivering these improvements, other teams at Google have been busy deploying WebP in their own products. Google Play’s online store, redesigned mid-last year, replaced PNG images with lossless WebP, reducing image file sizes by nearly 35%. Another major WebP rollout is currently in progress: YouTube video thumbnails are starting to be served in WebP with initial results indicating up to a 10% reduction in page load time.
This move should help lower user bandwidth usage, but it might not be able to protect Google from the onslaught of AT&T and other broadband providers who want big name tech companies to pay up for faster speeds.
The next step here for Google is likely to bring WebP to other Google services, and then the whole Internet. Assuming the Internet adopts WebP.
[via Chromium Blog]