In November of last year, we reported on a developing trend in digital advertising: the shift away from Flash and toward HTML5 for rich media and video desktop ads. At that point, Google had paused all autoplay Flash ads for users of its leading web browser, Chrome, and had long since shifted all YouTube videos from Flash to HTML5. Apple, of course, famously refused to support Flash on iPhones or iPods from the beginning.
This week, there's a new development in the saga. Google has announced a specific timeline for shifting entirely from Flash to HTML5, and it's all happening soon. Beginning in June, advertisers will no longer be able to upload Flash ads into DoubleClick Digital Marketing or AdWords. Beginning in January of 2017, no Flash ad will be able to run through the Google Display Network at all. Google also provided its own how-to guide for marketers looking to update in advance of the new shift.
The shift away from Flash is due primarily to security concerns about the Adobe product. Last summer, Flash was dealt a major blow when it came out that spyware giant the Hacking Team had been exploiting a backdoor in the Adobe software to take over users' computers and infect them with malware. As rich media and video become more sophisticated and more important to advertisers, the importance of developing ads using alternative tech (i.e. HTML5) grows as well.
For a more detailed history of how we got here and where we're headed, check out our infographic on the end of Flash. If you haven't already, start moving toward HTML5 using our tips and tricks for shifting to HTML5.