The State of WebP Browser Support

webp browser support

On September 30, 2010, Google released a new, open-sourced image format called WebP. Fast-forward to today, it is still growing in popularity and is used by some as an entire replacement for JPG and PNG images. WebP achieves a 26-percent better lossless compression ratio than PNG and a better lossy ratio, which ranges between 25 percent and 34 percent than JPG. Furthermore, WebP supports transparency without increasing the file size more than 22 percent.

In 2010, it was a successfully released, and the fact that it was open source code meant that anyone could use it and contribute to the code base. It’s still open-source today and there are currently 2 major browsers that support WebP images. This post will dive deeper into explaining the current state of WebP browser support.

WebP Browser Support

Currently, only Google Chrome and Opera support WebP images. Although other popular web browsers such as Firefox, Safari, and IE do not currently support the new image format natively, there has been some discussion regarding this topic on Twitter, in forums, etc. According to Google Developers, the following comprehensive list outlines the current state of WebP browser support.

WebP lossy WebP lossy, lossless, and alpha WebP Animation
 Google Chrome (desktop) 17+  Google Chrome (desktop) 23+  Google Chrome (desktop and Android) 32+
 Google Chrome for Android version 25+  Google Chrome for Android version 25+  Opera 19+
Opera 11.10+  Google Chrome for iOS version 29+
 Native web browser, Android 4.0+ (ICS)  Opera 12.10+
 Native web browser, Android 4.2+ (JB-MR1)
 Pale Moon 26+

Additionally, for a high-level overview of which browsers / browser versions that natively support WebP images, you can visit caniuse.

web browser support status

Although not all browsers currently natively support the WebP image format, it’s important to note that, if set up properly, your site’s images won’t appear as broken for these clients. Rather, unsupported browsers will be delivered the PNG or JPG equivalent of the WebP image as long as you are using an appropriate WebP integration solution. It’s also important to note which browser has the greatest market share (Chrome) and what percentage of your website visitors are using a WebP supported browser. Reviewing this information should help you better decide whether it will be advantageous to convert to WebP images.

Although the list above shows which browsers currently natively support WebP, it’s also worth mentioning that other browsers can also display WebP images via the use of an “add-on” of sorts. For example, if your browser supports WebM you can use a JavaScript shim such as Weppy to display the WebP images. Additionally, the WebPJS library can also be implemented within your web project to display WebP images to non-WebP supported browsers.

Conclusions

Although the adoption for WebP is still in the process of growing, it certainly offers some great advantages to current alternatives such as PNG and JPG. Large companies such as eBay and Facebook are also pushing for WebP browser support and actively using the image format to help save bandwidth thanks to compression improvements. Additionally, the support for WebP is growing beyond that of just web browsers as more and more CMS’s and Platforms are providing users with methods of delivering WebP. Read our WebP Support article for a complete breakdown of WebP support availability.

As WebP is able to cut down on image sizes, this format makes it very attractive to website owners who want to reduce both the cost of their bandwidth and increase visitor satisfaction.