Google today announced that the Google Display Network and DoubleClick Digital Marketing are completely ditching Flash for HTML5 next year. More specifically, advertisers will no longer be able to upload display ads built in Flash into AdWords and DoubleClick Digital Marketing, starting on June 30, 2016, and won’t be able to run display ads in the Flash format on the Google Display Network or through DoubleClick, starting on January 2, 2017.
Flash has been on its way out for years. Not only is the tool a security nightmare, with new vulnerabilities popping up regularly, the market has been slowly but surely moving away from plugins in favor of HTML5.
Google has played a big part in helping to kill Flash. In January 2015, YouTube ditched Flash for HTML5 video by default, and, in February, the company began automatically converting Flash ads to HTML5.
Today’s announcement is thus just the latest nail in the coffin. Google says this latest move aims “to enhance the browsing experience for more people on more devices” and encourages marketers to update their Flash display ads to HTML5 before the aforementioned dates. Video ads built in Flash, however, “will not be impacted at this time,” Google noted.
Late yesterday, Adobe launched Animate CC, the successor to its Flash Professional tool that helped make Flash ubiquitous. When first announcing the move in December, the company boldly stated: “Looking ahead, we encourage content creators to build with new Web standards and will continue to focus on providing the best tools and services for designers and developers to create amazing content for the Web.”
The death of Flash can’t come soon enough, both for performance and security reasons. In a way, Adobe ensured Flash’s death in November 2011, when the company announced the withdrawal of support for Flash Player on mobile devices. That said, despite the big news we’ve seen in the last 12 hours, Flash will likely still be around for a few years.