To Flash or not to Flash – Adam.
What? That super-hero who can run fast?
No. A Flash creative is an SWF (Small Web Format read as SWIF) which has support for animation, video, interactive actions, sound and maybe more. Adobe makes Adobe Flash Player which help play these type of files in web browsers.
How’s it affecting advertising?
Flash files deliver interactive pop ups and skin creatives which are very attractive. It has a good support for videos – remember the time you needed a Flash player to watch YouTube videos? And, all the interactive games that were available on desktop and web running in Flash. Flash has a good potential to deliver video ads as well. Owing to these reasons it was the de facto standard for delivering interactive content.
So, with all these plus points, what is the actual issue with Flash?
- Browser compatibility issue
Flash ads require Adobe Flash Player to render/play the creatives. If the fallback part isn’t handled appropriately, it will result in a waste of impression.
- No mobile support
With most of the user base moving to smart phones and the boom in mobile advertising, anything that isn’t supported in a phone is a BIG problem. Android, Windows, Apple & Blackberry – doesn’t support flash. Moreover, it isn’t designed for touch screens.
- Not open source
It doesn’t have much scope for customization as it’s a proprietary system by Adobe. This calls for a lot of problem when it’s being considered for a wide use across web.
- Buggy and security issues
Outdated players, privacy policies, Flash cookies are connected with multiple security problems cause they aren’t updated by most of the users.
Didn’t you see the signs?
Steve Jobs “hated” it. April 2010 : His article Thoughts On Flash – has many valid reasons to drop support for Flash in devices. Apple by default doesn’t support Flash in any way and has been like that for a long time.
Adobe themselves told that they’ll be slowly pulling Flash from mobile and web in support of HTML5 (Read more). This itself is enough to provoke web developers to move away from using flash.
DFP doesn’t appear to be extending it’s support for higher versions of Flash. For long time there hasn’t been any updates with regards to it’s support for higher versions of Flash files. Although trafficking is supported, click tracking through clickTAGs and other features won’t be available or work as required.
Flash and DoubleClick For Publishers:
DFP support Flash versions of only 10.1 or below. It has been like that for many years and I don’t think that it’s going to happen. DFP had introduced on the fly conversion to HTML5 in it’s UI for Flash creatives using Swiffy offering wider compatibility options for publishers. So, the flash creative is converted to it’s HTML5 alternative while uploading and is served as a fallback in non-flash environment. Slick!
What next then?
HTML5 is the future of interactive and rich creatives. With wide support across the latest browsers, HTML5 has grown rapidly in the past few years overtaking Flash. A lots of research and development happening in HTML5 / WebGL and the acceptance it’s gaining with the users and developers. It’s high time advertisers and publishers move on to HTML5 in advertising.
RIP Flash 🙁