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The End of Flash in Firefox and Chrome

What to do when 70% of browsers stop supporting Flash

On July 14, Firefox started blocking Flash from playing. This followed a recent announcement by Google that, starting in September, all flash files would be disabled from playing in their Chrome browsers. In early February 2015, Safari had been the first browser to do so. 

Although Firefox has reversed their decision after Adobe Flash created a patch to address Firefox’s concern, they currently require users to “update” their browsers to re-enable flash to be played. But the update does not come without issues. For example:

  • Most roadblock placements that were supposed to run flash ads were only serving static images. There were no warning messages from Firefox.
  • Randomly checking sites like Yahoo, there was an error message at the top of the screen with a warning of an outdated plug, instructing users to download the latest Flash.
  • Sometimes the ad appears as just a grey box without any warning message at all. If you click on it, it will ask if you want to activate Flash, but most users wouldn’t know to click on it because it is just a grey image.

The Impact/Affect

Starting in September when flash will no longer be able to play in Chrome, over 70% of browsers will no longer support flash.

Browser Usage:

Percentage of browser usage on internet

Source: w3schools.com

Anyone currently running flash for their advertisements and/or elements on their website needs to replace those files with alternatives. In most cases, the best solution would be HTML5.

It is highly recommended that media teams pull reports from their ad servers and check what file types are serving on browsers. In addition, check the results of your campaigns and evaluate if there has been any negative impact since July 14th. Media teams (and clients) should decide if it’s best to pause all their campaigns on Firefox (and Safari). 

What Clients and Agencies Should Do

  1. Decide if Safari and Firefox should be paused in your media campaigns
  2. Gather a list of all flash files that are going to run (or continue to run) in September
  3. Moving forward, all creatives will need be delivered as HTML5 ads or rich media
  4. Deliver new HTML5 ads to retraffic. Work with your agency to decide on ETA and creative/technical specs and requirements

HTML5 Creative Tools & Solutions

Below is a list of creative programs that can be used to build HMTL5 for future creative executions. Theoretically, anyone can build HMTL5 assets in anything that builds HMTL5 (even a simple notepad would work). However, the programs listed below are probably the best choices for creative/web development teams switching over from standard Flash banner creation to building everything in HTML5.

  1. Adobe Flash CC — Allows you to build HTML5 projects within the same UI and project flow. 
  2. Adobe Edge CC — Adobe’s native HMTL5 multimedia creation application. Works similarly to Flash, but is designed exclusively for building HTML. 
  3. Adobe Dreamweaver — Traditional HMTL authoring tool. 
  4. Google Web Designer — Google’s HMTL5 multimedia creation application. Works similarly to Flash, but is designed exclusively for building HTML. 
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