Facebook becomes the latest company to ditch Flash, switches to HTML5 for all video

By midian182
Dec 21, 2015
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  1. In what may be the final nail in the coffin for Flash, Facebook has now abandoned the technology in favor of HTML5 for all web videos that appear on its News Feed, Pages, and in the embedded Facebook video player.

    Facebook says it is continuing to work with Adobe to deliver a reliable and secure Flash experience for games on the platform, but the social network has switched to HTML5 video playback by default in all browsers.

    Daniel Baulig, an engineer at Facebook, said: “Not only did launching the HTML5 video player make development easier, but it also improved the video experience for people on Facebook. Videos now start playing faster. People like, comment, and share more on videos after the switch, and users have been reporting fewer bugs. People appear to be spending more time with video because of it.”

    Baulig added that Facebook introduced the HTML5 player a while ago to a small number of browsers, but there were several problems stopping the company making a complete switch from Flash across all platforms.

    "In theory, most browsers in use support HTML5 video. However, in practice we noticed that a lot of the older browsers would simply perform worse using the HTML5 player than they had with the old Flash player. We saw more errors, longer loading times, and a generally worse experience," he said. "That's why we waited until recently to ship the HTML5 player to all browsers by default, with the exception of a small set of them.”

    Back in July, Facebook’s chief of security, Alex Stamos, tweeted that it was time for Adobe to announce the end-of-life date for Flash and to ask browser makers to set killbits on the same day. YouTube switched to an HTML5-based player in January this year, and Adobe recently tried to distance itself from the technology by renaming Flash Pro to Adobe Animate CC.

    As Facebook joins the ranks of so many other companies in denouncing Flash, will 2016 be the year we finally say goodbye to the aging system once and for all?

    Permalink to story.

  2. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 1,822   +485

    We can't really say goodbye to flash if you still want to play some games (old or new), but I'm all for replacing all video content with HTML5. (and hopefully all ads will also stop using it)
  3. fastvince

    fastvince TS Enthusiast Posts: 67   +18

    GOOD BYE ! I worked as as a help desk support person for awhile. Flash was always causing problems.
    Glad to see it gone ! I will volunteer to push the button !
    DaveBG likes this.
  4. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,531   +836

    Just a few more big sites and I can uninstall it for good...
  5. treeski

    treeski TS Evangelist Posts: 955   +193

    Pandora was the last sight I cared about that still uses Flash, but since they put out a W10 app... can't think of anything else.
  6. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Addict Posts: 218   +72

    WOW, I never thought I would post a positive comment about facebook but in this case why not - congratulation to facebook users.
  7. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Guru Posts: 645   +227

    I can understand how this move to retire Flash in favor of HTML 5 video is a good thing for everybody from the perspective of dropping a proprietary technology in favor of an open standard. What I never did understand was people screaming bloody murder on the basis of security issues. Windows, among other software, will always be in a constant of game of cat and mouse in terms of discovering and patching vulnerabilities in their operating system.

    So, I can accept this change as a good thing but I disagree with all the hypocritical reasons that people have been using to hasten the death of Flash!
  8. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Maniac Posts: 798   +217

    Flash always seemed to have a worse track record when it came to really bad problems than other software and it is installed on almost all computers. Not to mention that it causes other problems as well like crashing or memory leaks so there are many reasons to want it dead, especially when there are better alternatives.
  9. Phr3d

    Phr3d TS Booster Posts: 218   +40

    Anyone Know why the keyboard shortcuts are (apparently) so difficult to enable in HTML5 video players?

    For instance, Netflix. Click icon for full-screen, now the space bar ('pause' since the Advent of video on PC) toggles full / windowed back and forth. Nothing else works either..
    Wish I could Force Silverlight until the platform gets through alpha stage..
  10. DAOWAce

    DAOWAce TS Booster Posts: 248   +30

    Pale Moon needs to catch up with the times. Still doesn't support some HTML5 technology.

    Really gotta switch browsers; really don't want to..

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