What’s going on?

Why is everyone in the online media industry suddenly scrambling to embrace HTML5 and denounce Flash? Well, a perfect storm of events occurred in the months of June and July of 2015 that caused a huge outpouring of criticism for Adobe Flash and calls for it’s hastened demise.

Chrome announces Flash pausing

On June 4th 2015, the official Chrome blog published a post that introduced a new feature in Chrome that automatically “pauses” Flash content on webpages to save battery life. This feature is in Chrome now but is optional and “off “ by default. Chrome has made known their intentions to make this feature “on” by default sometime in the near future.

Firefox temporarily blocks all Flash content

In early July 2015, the security company Hacking Team was hacked and their arsenal of tools and exploits were released to the public. This included several zero-day (previously undiscovered and unknown) security issues on Flash.

While Adobe was scrambling to quickly fix the newly released security issues (and many malware authors were actively scrambling to exploit those security issues,) Firefox decided to block Adobe Flash in their browsers for reasons of security. The Firefox Flash block came into place on the 14th of July 2015.

A few days later Adobe released a patched version of the Flash Player plug-in that fixed the security issues. As soon as users updated to the newer version of Flash, they were able to see Flash content in Firefox again. Of course, this means that users who have not update their Flash Player or didn’t have auto-update enabled may still see Flash as blocked in Firefox today.

Firefox and Facebook call for the death of Flash

While the revelations of the security flaws in Flash were circulating, Alex Stamos, the Chief Security Officer at Facebook, tweeted a call for Flash to be end-of-lifed (EOL: software terminology for “to-be-terminated”).

The next day, on the 14th of July, Mark Schmidt, the Head of Support for Firefox at the Mozilla, tweeted an Occupy Flash image while announcing aforementioned Firefox Flash block, fuelling speculations that he was calling for the end of Flash.

Why does this matter?

Depending on where you get your data from, Firefox and Chrome make up a total of 60 – 70% of the total browser market share in 2015. As both browsers have already made aggressive overtures towards ending Flash support, it is important for the online advertising industry to seriously start using HTML5 as an alternative or risk losing almost 70% of their users.

Flash was slowly dying anyway

Before the events of June – July 2015, Flash was already dying a slow death. Ever since Steve Jobs famously decided to not support Flash on iOS, Flash has been in decline. Even Adobe saw the writing on the wall and began moving most of their Creative Suite line towards working with HTML5.

HTML5 is mature

HTML5 is a mature technology. It’s been around for years, powering the websites that you browse and read daily. It’s the standard ads you see on Spotify desktop app and the power behind those interactive crazy ads you see on the Now News and Ming Pao iOS and Android apps. HTML5 ads have been standard on mobile apps for the longest time. We’re just bringing that to the desktop, that’s all.

We're here to help!

Pixels has been the specialist in HTML5 rich media ads on mobile since 2013 when Snap Mobile introduced the RM5 Rich Media Suite for mobile.

The Pixels Display Ad Network is ready for HTML5 standard ad units. Our premium partner, Spotify, also only runs HTML5 banners exclusively. Pixels is HTML5 ready.

If you’re unsure about your HTML5 ad units or need a hand working with HTML5, do give us a call. We’re here to help.