In the wake of revelations concerning major security flaws in the Adobe Flash multimedia and software platform Google has announced that the majority of Flash ads will be phased out from its digital-marketing networks. From June 2016 it will not be possible to upload Flash ads onto DoubleClick Digital Marketing or the Google Display Network while from January 2017 Google shall withdraw support for Flash ads from its display-advertising platforms. To complete the transition away from Flash future display ads uploaded to Google’s digital-marketing platforms must be coded in HTML5.
Despite repeated attempts to rectify security issues with a series of software updates the Flash platform remained insecure to threats which allowed third parties to gain control of compromised machines, install malware and steal information. With the rising importance of mobile devices Flash struggled to adapt to this new technological environment and the platform often proved incompatible with web browsers and apps on smartphones and tablets. The shift from Flash to HTML5 should allow advertisers to optimise their digital-marketing campaigns by reaching a broader audience.
As the June 30th cut-off date for uploading Flash-based display ads to AdWords and DoubleClick draws closer advertisers should waste no time in uploading their remaining Flash ads before the curtain-call while sincere efforts should be made to facilitate a smooth transition to the HTML5 format. Challenging though it might be for the uninitiated to code in HTML5 there is still plenty of time to learn this crucial coding language, knowledge of which will pay-off in the long-run after Flash ads are removed from circulation on January 4th 2017.
The shift away from Flash is unsurprising after Flash ads displayed on the Chrome browser were switched to turn-on only, YouTube abandoned the format for HTML5 and Adobe stopped supporting Flash Player on mobile devices in 2011 which led to the software being used to play a mere 6% of videos in 2015. Although Google shall continue to support Flash-based video ads on its advertising networks after January 2017 it is likely that time is also running out for these types of advert and that coding them in HTML5 is the more advisible option.
Due to Google abandoning Flash, with that company’s display-marketing network acting as the format’s last-remaining stronghold, it is predicted that the device may be extinct as soon as 2018 although Adobe intends to support the format for as long as demand remains.