Flash is Dead – Time to Inform Some Publisher Who Still Use It For Their Digital Editions

flash ipad jokeGoogle announces that starting on June 30, the company will no longer allow Flash ads to be uploaded into AdWords or DoubleClick Digital Marketing.

The death of Flash has been a long time coming, caused as much by the developers inability to make it secure as it was the rise of a reasonable alternative.

Yesterday, Google dealt Flash another blow, announcing that beginning this summer advertisers will no long be allowed to upload Flash advertising into Google AdWords or its DoubleClick Digital Marketing:

Over the last few years, we’ve rolled out tools to encourage advertisers to use HTML5, so you can reach the widest possible audience across screens. To enhance the browsing experience for more people on more devices, the Google Display Network and DoubleClick Digital Marketing are now going 100% HTML5:– Starting June 30th, 2016, display ads built in Flash can no longer be uploaded into AdWords and DoubleClick Digital Marketing.
– Starting January 2nd, 2017, display ads in the Flash format can no longer run on the Google Display Network or through DoubleClick.

I would have thought that by 2016 that publishers would know that users are not thrilled with Flash, and that Apple will not suddenly change its mind and integrate support for it into iOS.

But … it looks like the word is not reaching publishers who really should know better. For instance, recently I started receiving emails from the Chicago Tribune promoting a Flash flipbook afternoon edition. At first these emails were coming in to my in-box in the morning, about 12 hours later, but now I see they are starting to come in at a time that might be considered late afternoon (late evening, really).

That the Trib might want to experiment with a digital afternoon edition seems reasonable. The Orange County Register, a few years back, launched a digital edition app for an afternoon product that eventually was called The Peel (cute, right?). Sadly, with all that was going on at Freedom Communications at the time, the publisher didn’t give the project much time to succeed and so it was quickly ended. Other newspapers have launched similar experiments.

What these digital afternoon editions had in common was that they were app based. They were not, to say the least, based on Flash.

So, just to be clear, Flash is dying. It’s going away. Good riddance. Now, about those Flash flipbooks…

reposted with permission from Talking New Media

D. B. Hebbard

View posts by D. B. Hebbard
Douglas Hebbard (or if you are using D.B. Hebbard use that) is a 30+ year veteran of the newspaper and magazine publishing business, and has been publisher of the digital publishing website Talking New Media since 2010.

1 Comment

  1. David North10 February, 2016

    Flash is dead and yyou re right that a lot of publishers are behind on that.

    Many invested tens of thousands of dollars having highly interactive Flash sites designed and a complete rework is a daunting budget item.

    Another issue is that a lot of Flash sites had a LOT more than just “scrolling pictures” or “cat videos”. Flash allowed a seamless, OS/browser model independent interoperability between your browser, online databases, scripting and programming languages–something HTML 5 is not remotely close to achieving in the smallest measures at this point.

    Scientific, medical, academic and realty sites (to name a few) used the unique capabilities of Flash to enable functions that otherwise would have required software applications to be installed as full programs otherwise.

    Security issues are a concern but HTML 5 surrenders the user’s ability to decide for themselves what freedom of function for security trades they want to make instead of having it imposed on them.

    More to the point, no one is decrying HOW Flash was “put down”. Steve Jobs made an ad hoc decision using the leverage of Apple (later joined by Google–who ironically own YouTube which started as a Flash site) to decide for users what they needed.

    “Users” were not “not thrilled with Flash”–web architect consortiums were the ones who didn’t like it becasue of the secuirty holes. The average user found Flash a big part of the reason to surf the internet in the first place. And I guarantee you tomorrow we’ll see similar security concerns due to the “fixes” we’re putting in place today.


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