With Google Chrome now blocking all Flash ads, the technology is just about gone.
Adobe Flash is dying. But before you shed a tear, keep in mind that almost everyone working with the web is actually quite happy about it.
Flash is not one of the most beloved technologies of our day. Have you ever been browsing a site only to be distracted by a monkey throwing bananas on your sidebar? You can thank Flash for those types of ads.
Sure, Flash contributed to really annoying advertisements on websites, but for several years it was also the primary way for browsers to display videos and images on websites. But similar to other technology trends, something better and faster has come along.
HTML5 has made Flash redundant. It is much more secure and loads significantly faster, putting Adobe’s Flash to shame. In fact, many people have actually been disabling Flash on their web browsers for quite some time now. It’s been on the downslope, but recent events have just about crushed Flash for good:
In 2010, Steve Jobs posted an open letter declaring that Flash wouldn’t be compatible on any of Apple’s mobile products. He claimed that it was far less secure than alternatives and a complete battery hog (he was right about both).
A short time later, a movement called Occupy Flash was started to “get the world to uninstall the Flash Player plugin from their desktop browsers”. Their mission and manifesto explain why Flash’s time has passed and that it needs to stop being used around the web.
On July 12, 2015, Alex Stamos, the security chief of Facebook, tweeted this about Flash:
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.
— Alex Stamos (@alexstamos) July 12, 2015
Later on in July, Firefox announced a security advisory for Adobe Flash Player. Mozilla noticed the security flaw in Flash Player and decided to block it entirely from the browser. After a security update, Mozilla Firefox brought back Flash Player.
On September 1, 2015, Google Chrome officially stopped using Flash for all ads. Any remaining Flash ads are now stagnant with a grey background and include a ‘play’ symbol in the middle of the ad. Google Chrome said they’d be eliminate all Flash elements “not central to the webpage”. This is a huge step towards eliminating Flash entirely.
What does all of this mean to you?
If you’re the average internet user, dropping Flash will result in a faster browsing experience with fewer crashes. While Flash is still kind of hanging around like a bad cough, you can at least eliminate it from your browser. Here are easy steps from Wired.com:
Chrome: Go to chrome://plugins in your search bar. Scroll down to Adobe Flash Player. Click Disable.
Safari: Go to Safari > Preferences. Click Security. ClickManage Website Settings. Click Adobe Flash Player. Go to the When visiting other websites dropdown and click Block.
Firefox: Go to the hamburger icon in the upper righthand corner. Click Add-ons. Go to the left hand column and click Plugins. Go to the dropdown next to Shockwave Flash and select Never Activate.
Internet Explorer: Go to the gear icon in the upper righthand corner. Click Internet options. Click Programs. Click Manage add-ons. Click Shockwave Flash Client. In the lower righthand corner, click Disable.
Microsoft Edge: Click the menu button and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of Settings and click “View advanced settings.” Slide “Use Adobe Flash Player” to “Off”.
And for developers?
For developers or website owners, you should strongly consider eliminating any Flash-based content from your site (talk to your developer if you didn’t build the site). Although most browsers for now will still display Flash content (with the exception of ads), it’s easy to see that it’s on its last leg.
We strongly suggest using HTML5 as a replacement for any Flash images or video. This will up your site’s security level while also keeping you up to date with the latest technology.
Flash is almost dead. Don’t let your site suffer alongside it.
Now that we’ve gotten Flash out of the way, go check out our current web hosting deals on WestHost.com!