HTTP/2, the first major change to the Hypertext Transfer Protocol in 16 years, has been formally approved by the IESG (Internet Engineering Steering Group), along with the HPACK specification. There's still more work to be done for it to be fully standardized, but this represents an important step in that process.
This was announced earlier today in a blog post by Mark Nottingham, Chair of the IETF HTTP Working Group. He said that the standard was completed, and that the only things left to do before publishing are assigning RFC numbers to HTTP/2 and HPACK, and some editorial processes.
You may be asking yourself why is HTTP/2 so important. The answer is very simple: the new standard brings several improvements to one of the Web's core technologies. It will enable faster page loads, it is binary instead of textual (more efficient and less error-prone), it is fully multiplexed (to improve network performance), uses header compression and 'Server Push' (to reduce overhead).
These are just a few of the improvements, and if you are a web developer you can already test them in Firefox and Chrome with a few downloadable test servers. More information on that can be found here.
HTTP/2 is based on Google's SPDY/2 protocol, and has been developed in collaboration with people involved in the latter project. Google has announced its plans to adopt HTTP/2 for Chrome and we also know that Microsoft's Project Spartan has built-in support for the new standard.