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

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications
Commentary
8/31/2015
12:05 PM
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
Commentary
50%
50%

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
We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
<<   <   Page 2 / 4   >   >>
stevew928
50%
50%
stevew928,
User Rank: Ninja
9/1/2015 | 3:10:03 PM
Re: HTML5
Yes, again, alternatives depends on what was needed to be acomplished.

But, security was already a big issue back then... (from Jobs' open letter):

"Symantec recently highlighted Flash for having one of the worst security records in 2009. We also know first hand that Flash is the number one reason Macs crash. We have been working with Adobe to fix these problems, but they have persisted for several years now. We don't want to reduce the reliability and security of our iPhones, iPods and iPads by adding Flash."
larryloeb
50%
50%
larryloeb,
User Rank: Author
9/1/2015 | 2:22:53 PM
Re: HTML5
Well, i mean that the train seemed to stop at their station more during then.

They had some big creative tools (and still do) where there was no good alternatives.

They user base didnt have another good alternative then, as I said. The security problems has not really shown up at that point.

But they do have alternatives now.
stevew928
50%
50%
stevew928,
User Rank: Ninja
9/1/2015 | 2:12:28 PM
Re: HTML5
Hmm, maybe I haven't been following Adobe close enough, but wouldn't that still be the case? And, if memory serves, it wasn't Adobe pushing Flash so much as the user/developer-base, right?
larryloeb
50%
50%
larryloeb,
User Rank: Author
9/1/2015 | 1:41:30 PM
Re: HTML5
> I'd have to think it was simply a gut attempt to just go against Jobs

Adobe had a LOT of influence five years ago.

And money to spend.
stevew928
50%
50%
stevew928,
User Rank: Ninja
9/1/2015 | 1:32:23 PM
Re: HTML5
True, it wasn't a viable alternative for *some* applications, but was for 95% of what Flash was being used for out on the Web. And, while I applaud Jobs for taking the stand he did (and starting the avalanche), it didn't exactly take a ton of vision on that one.

I was quite against Flash before that, as the resources it required were outrageous, it was quite buggy and a huge security hole, AND the biggest reason, it was quickly becoming a non-standard, in that more and more devices couldn't (or shouldn't) use it.

I think the biggest surprise to me, were the companies that jumped on-board to support it, in an almost suicidal move. I'd have to think it was simply a gut attempt to just go against Jobs, rather than anyone actually taking the time to think it through.
larryloeb
50%
50%
larryloeb,
User Rank: Author
9/1/2015 | 1:13:24 PM
Re: HTML5
Quite true on his vision.

But, at the time, HTML5 was not a viable alternative for a lot of people.

And, again at the time, it was viewed by many as just another shot at Adobe after the FontWars.
larryloeb
50%
50%
larryloeb,
User Rank: Author
9/1/2015 | 1:11:28 PM
Re: HTML5
In general, suits have no idea about code issues.

The good ones realize that.
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.
stevew928
50%
50%
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.
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.
<<   <   Page 2 / 4   >   >>
News
Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends for 2021
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/13/2020
Commentary
Where Cloud Spending Might Grow in 2021 and Post-Pandemic
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/19/2020
Slideshows
The Ever-Expanding List of C-Level Technology Positions
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  11/10/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Why Chatbots Are So Popular Right Now
In this IT Trend Report, you will learn more about why chatbots are gaining traction within businesses, particularly while a pandemic is impacting the world.
Slideshows
Flash Poll