Google will ban all Flash ads in 2017

By Scorpus · 10 replies
Feb 10, 2016
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  1. Google has announced that its entire advertising network, comprising of the Google Display Network and DoubleClick Digital Marketing, will be transitioning away from Flash-based ads to a 100% HTML5 solution over the next year.

    The transition includes two firm deadlines: on June 30th, 2016, Google will stop accepting new Flash ads from advertisers; and on January 2nd, 2017, Google will stop displaying any Flash ads across its network. This means that in early 2017, Flash ads will effectively be banned from Google's advertising network.

    There is one exception to this ban, and that appears to be video ads, with the AdWords Google+ page stating "video ads built in Flash will not be impacted at this time." Many video players around the web still rely on Flash, so it seems Google is waiting for more widespread adoption of HTML5 video players before it switches off support for Flash video ads.

    For advertisers wanting to publish their ads in HTML5, the only ad format Google's network will support, Google already provides a number of tools that make the transition from Flash easy. For users browsing the web, having one of the world's largest web ad providers ditch Flash should improve the security and performance of your web browser.

    There are still some steps to go before Flash has been completely eradicated, but it's clear that everyone wants it gone as soon as possible. Even Adobe, who purchased Flash along with Macromedia in 2005, no longer wants to support it, having killed their authoring tool Flash Professional last year.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    "Google will ban all Flash ads in 2017"
    That headline would sound like heaven if it never had the word "Flash" in it.
    noel24 and Reehahs like this.
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,728   +3,701

    Never thought I would hear about Google implementing an Ad-Blocker. My how times are changing. Hahaha
  4. Guys, you got to realize that google is doing this in self-interest. Can you imagine all those flash-based adds that are not being watched because of people disabling/uninstalling flash from their computer and browsers? Now if they switch to HTLM5, their adds will be viewed by a whole lot more people.
    Shinc likes this.
  5. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,377   +286

    Hardly as ads need to declare they are ads, therefore those who uninstall Flash to prevent ads and what not are still going to be installing adblocking plugins anyway. That said, it certainly holds true for those who never install Flash in the first place, ie mainstream consumers and older folks/non tech savvy.

    New PC installations won't have Flash (not that they do anyway as its opt-in feature) so yeah those unaware of adblocking software will see the ads (obviously).
  6. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,471   +375

    There is practically nothing that Google does that is not in self-interest, but in this case it has a possibly positive effect on users down the stream. Sure more advertisements may get through to the user, but hopefully they won't be as intrusive and downright annoying as most, if not all flash advertisements are.

    Though if video ads are included in the blanket term flash advertisements, then there is nothing more egregious than those and of course Google is not touching those yet.
  7. Technician

    Technician TS Addict Posts: 677   +114

    The reason for this change is obvious. Google created the webm video format for HTML5 and between it and mp4 you can show video to all browser platforms except IE6-8. Those older browsers do not support H5ML5 but with MS dropping support for the older OS's that bundled those versions there is no longer any need to support flash at all.
    These are the formats supported by browsers today:
    • Mozilla Firefox – WebM, Ogg
    • Google Chrome – WebM, Ogg
    • Opera – WebM, Ogg
    • Safari – MP4
    • MS Edge - MP4, WebM
    • Internet Explorer 9 – MP4, WebM (with free plugin)
    • Internet Explorer 6-8 – No HTML5, Flash Only!
    Before this to cover all possible browsers web developers had to use MP4, WebM and include a fallback flash format to catch older IE users. This new standard will make things simpler and we can use two instead of three files for video displays.
    I am glad for this change and will be even happier to see the day when we are down to only needing WebM with its smaller file sizes.
    There is a plugin to allow IE 9 and 10 to play WebM files so now we just need Safari to join the rest of us in the modern age and we can develop with a single smaller file for videos.
    Come on Safari, get it together.

    Sorry for the double post. The edit timed out as I added the support for MS Edge.
    Can a mod please delete the first post?
  8. Shinc

    Shinc TS Rookie

    Yep. And the HTML ads are FAR, FAR more annoying and intrusive than Flash could ever be. Popups right on top of the content you're reading, animated crap or effects that slow down rendering, buggy crap that breaks page rendering. On the other hand, Flash was abused with ads sure, but it's TRIVIAL to block or set as click-to-play. Shutting down Flash is an advertisers dream--now everyone will be forced to see their crap which is much harder to disable without breaking things that you do want to work.

    Enjoy your HTML5 ads, fools - hahaha.
  9. Shinc

    Shinc TS Rookie

    A positive effect by forcing more HTML5 popup ads into our faces? Have you been using the Internet lately? HTML ads and popup nags have gotten WAY out of control and make me wish that we had all Flash ads again--at least I can block those.

    You do realize that most annoying ads are not Flash based, I hope? I have to wonder, if people like you hate Flash so much, why do you even have it installed and enabled? At least turn on click-to-play. Forgive me for being cynical, but it's so easy to block Flash content, I have to wonder if people like you have some kind of ulterior motive to attack it.
  10. Shinc

    Shinc TS Rookie

    Are you sure they even want to? What they SAY and what they do don't always line up. Apple is the company that started the war on Flash in the first place, and their business model is as anti consumer choice and as closed as you can get. They may have to cave eventually in this case but Apple is essentially at war with free, open technology. Well, then again they are "at war" with proprietary platforms that threaten their bottom line, too. (Like Flash threatened their "App Store" gaming profits, so it had to go.)
  11. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,471   +375

    Forgive me if before block flash based content by default (and several times removing flash outright), my experience of flash ads and flash in general is some of the most invasive, poorly designed, poorly written, memory hogging and system resource eating pieces of "content" on the internet. I've wanted Flash in general to die for a long time, and any step to that regard I count as a good thing.

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