Flash dying off on websites and Google ads

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Adobe Flash was once an extremely ubiquitous part of the web surfing experience, with many sites requiring the plugin for playing video and other functionality. However, the introduction and widespread use of HTML 5 has finally allowed Flash to be retired for most uses. Good thing, too, since Flash’s main reason for being given the heave-ho is that it’s a security nightmare. Another reason for Flash’s death is that Apple never allowed it to be installed on iOS, so it never took off on mobile devices.

For all of the above reasons, Flash’s usage has dropped from 50% of the top 10,000 websites (in January 2012) to 18%. See the infographic below:

Infographic: Bye Bye Flash! | StatistaLicensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-ND)

In other recent Flash developments, Google as of June 30, 2016 will ban Flash-based ads from being uploaded to its ad services, while Flash based ads won’t run at all starting in January 2017. However, Flash for now will still be allowed for playing videos. That said, Adobe’s own studies report that Flash only made up 6% of mobile and web video in 2015, down from 21% in 2014. At this rate, Adobe feels Flash should be completely gone for video use within the next two years.

I definitely won’t miss Flash. On my own computers using Chrome, I have installed the Flashblock extension, which blocks Flash from running. Instead, Flashblock displays a clickable icon to let me run Flash as I see fit.

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  1. I’m surprised so many sites use Flash–both in 2011 and today. Back when an agency redesigned the Tribune Media Services website in 2007, a flash component was included on the homepage, which was I against–in 2007. Thankfully we were finally able to chuck the flash off the site last year with a redesign (and domain change).

    1. A lot of sites still rely on Flash for certain stuff—Flash-based games, for instance, or older sites not overhauled for HTML 5-based features. There’s many sites also still not mobile-friendly (I’m looking at you, Newsarama and Comic Book Resources), to bring up another online design issue.

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