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article imageGoogle to ban Flash adverts next year, remove them from the web

By James Walker     Feb 9, 2016 in Technology
Google has announced its plans to phase out Flash in the AdWords advertisements displayed on websites. Ads using the old and outdated technology will not be accepted for submission from July 2016 and Flash will be banned entirely next year.
As Ars Technica reports, Google published a timeline today explaining when the changes will happen and the impact they'll have on adverts. AdWords is a popular ad provider among content publishers and the marketers who provide the adverts, so abandoning Flash overnight would leave many people out of pocket.
In a Google+ post, Google explains the time has now come to kill off Flash. It notes that it has rolled out several tools to "encourage" advertisers to start building adverts in the newer HTML5 and there is now a wealth of material available to help marketers make the switch.
With a growing consensus in tech communities that Flash is now dead and end-of-life, Google has made the decision to make AdWords adverts "100% HTML5" in a series of changes that will occur in the next year.
From June 30th 2016, the company will stop accepting new advert submissions that are based on Flash. Existing adverts will continue to function as normal but the Flash upload facility will be disabled in the AdWords and DoubleClick Digital Marketing control panels. As adverts go out of date and are withdrawn by advertisers, they will be forced to replace them with HTML5 ones. From July onwards, Flash is likely to take some heavy hits to usage as it is phased out across Google's extensive network.
On January 2, 2017, support for Flash adverts will be disabled entirely. Any remaining Flash-based ads used by marketers won't be displayed as AdWords and DoubleClick will be based entirely around HTML5.
Google has created several resources that advertisers can use to ensure their campaigns won't be affected by the changes. The company will display warnings in the AdWords and DoubleClick dashboards around the time of the major dates to ensure nobody is left unprepared or unsure of how to convert Flash ads to HTML5.
The announcement is just the latest in a long line of Google attempts to crush Adobe's ailing Flash. In 2015, it disabled the technology in Chrome, forcing users to manually enable it to view Flash content. It has also upgraded YouTube to a modern HTML5 video player, aligning itself with the rest of the industry in asserting that Flash is now past its time.
The once-popular standard has been plagued by security issues and performance problems. Whereas it was once the go-to solution when building interactive graphics, games or flashing banners on websites, now these features can be implemented more quickly and securely directly within webpages.
A report last month concluded that Flash will likely be eradicated entirely within the next two years. By 2018, it is thought the technology will be left with negligible market share as waves of major sites move away from the technology. Its usage declined by 15 percent during 2015.
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