Is Flash dead?

By James C | Monday, 31 August 2015
not that Flash

The day has finally come. Google has killed Flash.

At least, if not killed it, then probably mortally wounded it.

What's Going on With Google?

The internet giant has been saying since 2009 "we're betting big on HTML5" but this is one of the biggest gambles we've seen them take on it.

In a public post on the AdWords Google+, they said as of September 1 "Chrome will begin pausing many Flash ads by default to improve performance for users." More information can be found in their June post Bringing Better Performance to Rich Media on Chrome. They said:

Video and interactive media bring consumers rich, engaging experiences on the web - but they can also impact browser speed and battery life. A few months ago, Chrome introduced a setting designed to increase page-load speed and reduce power consumption by pausing certain plugin content, including many Flash ads. As soon as September, this setting will be turned on by default so Chrome users can enjoy faster performance.

Google have been encouraging and nudging developers towards using HTML5 for a while now, with most Flash ads uploaded to AdWords already being automatically converted to HTML5, and giving advertisers the ability to upload HTML5 ads built with Google Web Designer into GDN campaigns. and

Google even have a helpful guide on making the transition from Flash to HTML5.

Mozilla and Facebook speak out

Google aren't the only ones with Flash in their sights. In July, Facebook's head of security Alex Stamos Tweeted "It is time for Adobe to announce the end-of-life date for Flash and to ask the browsers to set killbits on the same day" saying that "one set date" was "the only way to disentangle the dependencies and upgrade the whole ecosystem at once."

Following critical vulnerabilities that would potentially allow attackers to take control of affected systems, Mozilla's head of support for Firefox announced "BIG NEWS!! All versions of Flash are blocked by default in Firefox as of now." The message was shared more than 2,750 times.

Firefox regularly "blocks" vulnerable plugins, but what made this noteworthy was that there was no update available from Adobe at the time. Mozilla have said they will "continue to work with developers to encourage adoption of safer and more stable technologies, such as HTML5 and Javascript," and they looked forward to helping drive that conversation.

Is it just a flash in the pan?

Probably not. Google carry a lot of weight and Chrome is the world's most popular browser. Amazon have said that following "recent browser setting updates from Google Chrome, and existing browser settings from Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari, that limits Flash display ad capabilities displayed on web pages" they will also no longer be accepting Flash ads.

What do you say?

Do you heart HTML5, or are you firm on Flash? Let us know on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.