Google Chrome Support For Flash Ads Ends Sept. 1 - InformationWeek

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Commentary
8/31/2015
12:05 PM
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
Commentary
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Google Chrome Support For Flash Ads Ends Sept. 1

Google's Chrome browser will no longer support Flash-based ads starting Sept. 1. This follows several months of problems with Adobe's Flash platform.

9 Reasons Flash Must Die, And Soon
9 Reasons Flash Must Die, And Soon
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Google's Chrome browser will be blocking Adobe Flash content as of Tuesday, Sept. 1. This comes on the heels of Amazon's announcement that it would no longer support Flash-based ads on its websites.

Chrome has a 27% share of the total browser market, so this is a major hit to Adobe Flash.

This change in Chrome first showed up in a June 4 Google Adwords blog posting about a new setting in the browser that affected Flash content. In the post, Google wrote that it was "designed to increase page-load speed and reduce power consumption by pausing certain plugin content, including many Flash ads."

Google also noted in the post, "As soon as September, this setting will be turned on by default so Chrome users can enjoy faster performance and view more content before charging their batteries."

(Image: gmutlu/iStockphoto)

(Image: gmutlu/iStockphoto)

September has arrived.

Conceptually, this is very similar to a feature Apple uses in Safari. Flash is blocked from autoplaying content, and a "power saving" button requires a click to activate Flash.

The feature already exists in Chrome. It can be switched on by opening "advanced settings," under "content settings," then choosing the "detect and run important plugin content" option. Now it will be on by default.

Chrome won't pause all Flash content with this action. Flash video will not be paused, because it is considered "important," but the Flash items that surround that video -- which are usually ads -- will be paused.

Google's true motivation in this move may not be faster performance and better battery life -- not those.

The rise of malvertising attacks, in which malicious code can be injected into a user’s machine simply by viewing an image, that were using Flash as an entry vector undoubtedly played a part in this.

Google's revenues come from ads. Anything that might cause users not to view them or click on them hits it right in its bottom line. Consequently, the company views the Flash problem as a serious one, and it has taken some serious action to mitigate it.

Google has been fairly open about giving advertisers a way around Flash.

For example, AdWords can convert Flash to HTML5 code. As Google put it, "Eligible Flash campaigns, both existing and new, are now automatically converted to HTML5 when uploaded through AdWords, AdWords Editor, and many 3rd party tools."

[Read more about handy HTML5 tips you can use.]

There are free tools to allow pre-upload testing to see if an ad can be automatically converted.

Google will also encourage advertiser creation of HTML5 code with supported tools for this purpose.

Google Web Designer is one of these tools that work directly with the Google Display Network. Google has also provided non-Flash templates for use by advertisers.

Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek. He has written a book on the Secure Electronic Transaction Internet ... View Full Bio
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mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
9/1/2015 | 9:47:59 AM
Re: HTML5
@larryloed,

I don't think it'll be gone...Adobe will probably seek a way so that the different platforms can co-exist.
larryloeb
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larryloeb,
User Rank: Author
9/1/2015 | 9:59:00 AM
Re: HTML5
@mejiac

They have been stonewalling and patching so far.

Doesn't seem like they are doing a rewrite or anything.
mejiac
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50%
mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
9/1/2015 | 10:28:38 AM
Re: HTML5
@larryloeb,

Agreed, reason why I think it's a matter of time when they either seek and pursue a true solution to be able to integrate with today's ecosystem...or be part of the "once great companies" list :)
larryloeb
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larryloeb,
User Rank: Author
9/1/2015 | 10:41:51 AM
Re: HTML5
As so many have fallen by the wayside.

Yeah, they have to do something here. People are just going around them.
stevew928
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stevew928,
User Rank: Ninja
9/1/2015 | 11:06:48 AM
Re: HTML5
Yep, lazy and/or ignorant developers.
stevew928
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50%
stevew928,
User Rank: Ninja
9/1/2015 | 11:08:56 AM
Re: HTML5
And, they apparently didn't pay attention to Jobs over 5 years ago.
larryloeb
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larryloeb,
User Rank: Author
9/1/2015 | 11:57:49 AM
Re: HTML5
Well, maybe upper management didn't want them to change.

I mean, the suits thought it worked.
larryloeb
50%
50%
larryloeb,
User Rank: Author
9/1/2015 | 11:59:17 AM
Re: HTML5
Well, he hadn't been declared a Saint at that point.

He was just another upstart fighting the Machine.
stevew928
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stevew928,
User Rank: Ninja
9/1/2015 | 1:04:16 PM
Re: HTML5
Fair point, but I'm talking in general. And, if that's the case, probably time to find a new place to work with a bit smarter suits.
stevew928
50%
50%
stevew928,
User Rank: Ninja
9/1/2015 | 1:06:55 PM
Re: HTML5
Well, he was (as usual) smart enough to recognize where things were going. Flash was already dead at that point, it just hadn't fallen over yet. And, it took the rest of the world much longer to catch up to that realization.
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