Google just laid out a timeline to get rid of Adobe Flash from its display advertising services.
From January 2, 2017 ads in the Flash format will not run on across Google Display Network and DoubleClick. Flash will be phased out as early as June 30, 2016, from which time it will not be possible to upload display ads built in the format.
Adobe Flash is a piece of software used to create audio and video animations, games, and applications. Until recently, up to 90% of rich media ads on desktop use Flash, according to Sizmek.
Google is one of the biggest display advertising players online. Its display advertising revenue in 2015 reached $3.52 billion, which makes up 13% of its total ad revenue. In the US, it is second only to Facebook when it comes to the share of display advertising spend, according to eMarketer.
But Google has been moving towards switching out Adobe Flash for HTML5 — a “type of code that describes web pages” — for display ads in recent years. Last September, for example, Google’s Chrome browser began blocking Adobe Flash ads.
Flash has been criticised by developers for its “critical vulnerabilities” which have made it bug-ridden, the Verge reported. However Adobe did release an update to fix these bugs.
Aside from Google, Firefox has also blocked Flash over security concernsfollowing several instances of vulnerabilities in the software being compromised by hackers. Amazon has also banned Flash ads from appearing on its platform, and Apple has never supported Flash on the iPhone.
Adobe itself seems prepared for the end of Flash. It killed off Flash Professional (the tool for making Flash animations) in December, ArsTechnica reported. The new Adobe Animate CC program allows users to develop HTML5 content. However it is still possible to create Flash files in the software, so the format is by no means dead yet.
In a symbolically significant move, Adobe killed its Flash Twitter account on Monday:
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