Written by 5ivecanons Staff
Recently, both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox pulled the plug on Adobe Flash because of a major gap in security.
On July 14th, Google and Mozilla, two of the internet super giants, both blocked Adobe Flash entirely. This was due to the recent security breaches, brought to light by an Italian hacking group called Hacking Team. They were able to use Flash enabled ads, videos and games as a sort of window, allowing them access to your computer. They were able to access every bit of information inside of your computer, and can even control your computer and potentially lock you out of your own device. It was determined that users were vulnerable no matter what search engine you were using or what devices you were using Flash on (Windows, Mac OS X, etc.).
After the problem was recognized, Google and Mozilla did not wait for Flash to fix the problem. They took action into their own hands, and consequently blocked the Adobe service. This means if you visit a site or page with an ad or video using Flash or Shockwave player, you will be shown an error message, but if you really want to see/watch/interact with the Flash message, you can still press the “run this time” button.
What does this mean for online advertisers who use Flash as the main tool in displaying their advertisements? First, it means people are not seeing your ads. Secondly, this recent event could be the sign many advertisers have been looking for, a sign that confirms that it is time to move away from using Flash. This trend has been growing over the past few years. HTML-5 is looking more and more likely to be the replacement for the outdated and seemingly dangerous Adobe Flash.
Many advertisers use Flash for various reasons. Mostly because it is one of the original tools when it comes to animated graphics for advertisers. Flash was created in 1996, and has been running ever since. Also, the file sizes in Flash format are relatively small, meaning they do not slow down page loading time too much. Flash has been the top dog on desktop computers, but is virtually invisible in the realm of mobile users.
This is where we see the writing on the wall, and why many advertisers are jumping ship. Flash is incompatible with almost all mobile devices, and this is not good for Flash because people are tending to use tablets and smart phones more and more. HTML-5 is not only compatible with these devices, but is also safer, faster, cheaper and easier to maintain.
According to a study done by Sizmek, if advertisers don’t make the switch to HTML-5 they could be dooming themselves. A study performed in the first fiscal quarter of 2015 showed that there were 5.43 billion Flash mobile ads served to users, and 5.35 billion of them defaulted or failed. That’s a fail rate of 98.6%! At the same time 4.45 billion HTML-5 mobile ads were served and only .37 billion of those defaulted, which is a fail rate 8.3%. Do you see where we are going with this? When the research was all said and done, and all the information was collected (info included: default rate, click rate and interaction rate, just to name a few) it was determined that HTML-5 out preformed Flash by an incredible 400%. If everything stays on its current path, in 2016 Flash will have over 33 billion defaulted impressions, which will result in about 400 million missed interactions for advertisers.
The security faults of Flash have been a big deal for many advertisers, and the response taken by Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox will have limited the successes of many campaigns, but the blocking of Flash could a blessing in disguise. It has shown us not only that Flash is dangerous and outdated, but it has shown that times are changing and Flash is falling behind. This means those advertises who don’t take these signs, and make the appropriate changes will be doomed to fall with Flash.
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