webp image support

Currently, iNaturalist supports static images (like jpeg) and animated images in gif format. GIF format is not suitable for animated photos, files become large and with low quality. On other side, webp will allow to upload short animated images in high quality and tiny size

Adding webp file type will not be time consuming, but will be super helpful for user

welcome. you may want to look over at this other thread about uploading videos. there’s some discussion over there about other file formats that could replace animated GIF, such as APNG.

my sense is that video in any form (including animated photos) is just not a high priority, and i think i’m beginning to understand why it’s not a high priority. lately, i’ve been uploading short videos to YouTube and linking those videos to some of my observations (ex. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/66154560). as far as i can tell based on YouTube analytics, even though almost all of these observations have been identified and so have had at least one other person (besides me) look at them, no one has bothered to look at the videos from iNaturalist. so i think the reality is that videos might be nice for yourself, but the average observation probably gets very few views and even fewer views by folks who would be interested in viewing a video, even if it is provided as an option. so if still photos will do, video is probably just not worth the extra effort and infrastructure, if the actual viewership is so low.

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Yes, I agree with you about youtube videos, my comment is about the optimization of the existing gif upload feature, which will allow to improve quality keeping the same size. As of my opinion gif/apng are great formats for animating graphics, but for photo animation webp is the most suitable from point quality/size

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animated webp is not necessarily better than video in terms of file size for the same image size / quality, and it doesn’t offer some of the other features of video. animated webp may be better than animated GIF, but that path doesn’t seem to lead to a better place than true video. so why put in additional effort to continue down that way?

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from programming perspective it will be much easier as it will work out of the box after adding webp to the list of allowed file types. Video support will require additional coding