In the recent weeks, the internet community has been in a uproar with news on Flash. Few months back, the researches at Malwarebytes, an anti- malware soft vendor uncovered a large scale attack against yahoo users through Yahoo’s own advertising network. This has led to increased scrutiny over the future of Adobe Flash particularly in the advertising community. Most notably, Chrome and Firefox have blocked Flash components in an effort to improve their customer experience. Even Adam Stamos, Chief Security Officer at Facebook, has called for end-of-life for Flash.
The Chrome team recently announced that Flash Ads will be paused by default because Flash technology increases page-loading and drains the battery more quickly, thereby decreasing the browser experience for its users. Safari’s next version will also let users block ads on its iPhones and iPads. Similarly Mozilla has blocked all legacy versions of Flash within Firefox due to security vulnerabilities.
A blow to advertising?
Together Chrome and Firefox comprise 40% of desktop market share as seen in the pie chart.This implies that 40% of your audience will not be able to be able to your Flash Ads. Safari’s move ensures that even the mobile advertising space is affected by just a download to avoid ads.
Flash delivers an interactive ad experience and better expression through animation instead of the staid banner ads. There are also many disadvantages to Flash ads like Plugins, lack of SEO benefits, loading time, vulnerabilities, etc. If we use Ads without Flash, what is the compelling alternative?
What is the way ahead?
Though we at the advertising industry crib and cringe at every major technology change, we are just like those logs in the water. We get pulled by the current in its direction. The Customer is the ultimate boss, hence we provide whatever they require. With the blocking of Flash, now clients would want us to stop using Flash and instead provide a better alternative.
Advertising industry adapts quickly to these changes in technologies out of necessity. Is the industry becoming pro-technology at the expense of creativity and pro-people? The advertising industry must embrace new technologies as much as their consumers demand but is technology approaching creativity in the same way? Advertising is creative in a way by introducing, familiarizing, reinforcing our existing attitudes. It is a way of reflecting culture, thoughts and beliefs. In the race to swim ahead of others and race to keep up with the recent technologies, advertising is at the verge of forgetting that the work is for someone and not the usage of some technology.
The technology alternative?
How do we deliver compelling Ads without Flash? HTML5 is a compelling alternative to Flash. The advantages of HTML5 include cross-screen compatibility allowing you run it across in desktop and mobile as well. It provides CSS and font inheritance capabilities for a seamless experience and is best suited for the emerging trends in digital advertising. Well, we only evolve when we adapt to the changing environments but let’s not forget creativity in our rush.