Flash - The Final Countdown

June 14, 2016 Francis Dignan

With a Flash, it’s all gone. That’s right, as of June 30th 2016 it’s all about HTML5, and you won’t be able to upload any ads built in Flash to the Google Display Network (GDN), including Adwords and Doubleclick. Perhaps even more onerous, GDN will stop running all Flash ads in their entirety by January 2017. This means if you haven’t already made the move, you really need to start thinking about that, well, yesterday.

But!

Don’t worry. We are here to guide you through the process. This is part of a series of blogs which will give you everything you need to survive in the post-Flash, HTML5 era.

Why is this happening?!

Well, it’s been a long time coming. The meteoric rise of Apple products may have sped up the process, as they refused to allow Flash on the ubiquitous iPhones, but the fact is it was outdated technology anyway. As Steve Jobs explained in this letter, it was designed for the desktop era.

It was designed for keyboards and mice. It was also closed, so Adobe alone could change and adapt it. The letter explains the whole list of reasons why Apple didn’t support it, and these apply to the wider world too. Of course, another way to see it is Apple actively killed Flash, but there’s far more to it than that.

Although it was a great tool for designers, it was slow, unresponsive, and didn’t work on mobile. With HTML5, everything you do adapts to the screen it’s on, which is huge given the amount of different screen sizes around. In addition to this, it was known to have security issues and had more than its fair share of bugs too.

Flash also wasn’t set up to deal with the way modern mobiles work, as more advanced elements relied on rolling over ads with a mouse cursor to make them expand. This is all but useless on a phone, as everything is done with swipes, presses and pinches, which are all easy to implement in ads using HTML5.

Another issue was that you could only ever have one link per banner, so there were no opportunities to include multiple offers and calls to action, which is far more restrictive than HTML5, and meant less potential conversion points.

What next?

Changing from Flash to HTML5 for your banner ad campaigns doesn’t have to be a huge task, and we can help you at every step. The good news is, all of your work in Flash will not be going to waste, and in the next post we’ll cover how to carry over your elements from Flash to HTML5 ads.

If you want more info about the switch, we have plenty on the subject so far which is just a search away. If you have questions, feel free to ask them in the comments! Otherwise, by the time the switch comes around, you’ll be comfortable in the world of HTML5 ad production, and all with the help of BannerFlow.

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