Google is always working on different projects and such, and it appears that now it is working on Pik, which is a new lossy image format and it appears to be succeeding Webp, which Google officially announced in 2010. Pik is on Github, under Google’s account, so it is a Google project, but the readme that is listed on Github states that it is not an official Google project. This likely means that Google won’t be offering up any support for Pik just yet. Google also notes that this is in the early research phase, so there’s very little done with Pik just yet, and it’s pretty rough for now.
The documents on the Github don’t actually unveil much information, other than the fact that it appears to be working similar to Webp, which never really took off – since it was only really supported by Google Chrome and not other web browsers. On Github, all that is there is basically the encoder and the decoder, so there’s not much for the average user to check out just yet. But if you do know how to use the encoder and decoder, then you can check it out and see what Google is really up to with Pik.
When it came to Webp, Google was looking for a way to shrink the sizes of images that are used on the internet. This is important because larger images can slow down the page load speed on different websites, especially those with lots of images. And since Google was and still is, looking to grow its platform in emerging markets like India, where internet speeds are still quite slow, this is a pretty big deal for Google. It was something that never really took off, although some websites including the Google Play Store, did make the switch over to Webp. For the average user, there was nothing really different here, but if you saved an image from a website, you would notice that it downloaded in Webp instead of a more conventional format like PNG or JPG, which could be an issue for some users. Otherwise, it wasn’t much different. And with Pik, it’s still unclear how different – if at all – it will be over Webp.