The move affects both the Google Display Network and DoubleClick Digital Marketing, and it’s kicking in sooner than you might think. On June 30, customers will no longer be able to upload Flash-based ads to AdWords and DoubleClick.
It will take a bit longer for currently uploaded Flash ads to stop showing up. On January 2, 2017, any remaining ads using Flash will no longer run on AdWords or DoubleClick. These changes don’t include video ads built in Flash, which for the time remaining will continue to be uploaded and display as usual.
Fortunately, Google has also provided a detailed support page with step-by-step instructions for bringing ad campaigns into compliance with the new rules. It lists steps for converting Flash ads, as well as creating new ads that embrace HTML5 fully.
Google isn’t the first Web company to take issue with Flash ads and objects on sites. Mozilla already locked out Flash in July of 2015, and Google followed suit in Chrome not long after. Developers have been trying to kill Flash for years now, and the recent security issues and rise of HTML5 have only made the argument stronger.
It would appear that some of the flak Adobe is taking over Flash’s downward spiral is starting to stick too. Adobe finally rolled out the successor the Flash Professional platform, which has now dropped the Flash moniker for the flashier Adobe Animate CC. It not only brings creative cloud support, but also sports native HTML5, WebGL, 64-bit iOS, and 4K support.
Adobe makes a lot of great, highly-utilized products, and Flash Professional remains one of them. “Today, over a third of all content created in Flash Professional uses HTML5,” as senior product marketing manager for Adobe, Rich Lee, puts it “It has also been recognized as an HTML5 ad solution that complies with the latest Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) standards.”
Flash isn’t dead, and in fact, is far from it. That being said, the actual platform’s usability on the Web is sharply dropping off. Instead, Flash lives on as Animator, a versatile, powerful platform for animation and interactive Web elements. Google’s latest move towards wiping it off the face of the Internet is a boot to Adobe’s throat, however, and Adobe can ignore it no longer. The rest of us can just look forward to advertisements that won’t try to hijack our computers.
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