As you may have heard, Google’s Chrome internet browser is scheduled to kill off Adobe Flash ads. In June in was reported that beginning on September 1st Chrome would intelligently pause any non-essential flash content such as banner ads. According to NetShare, Chrome accounts for 27% of desktop internet traffic as of July 2015. The move to limit flash in Chrome could be a major domino in a push for marketers to develop their creative materials in alternative ways such as HTML5.
Google’s public explanation is that flash can be a drain on batteries, which is true. This is a point that Apple co-founder famously made when explaining the decision to ban flash ads from Apple’s iOS operating system. Battery life may be the main reason for the move to kill flash, but, prevention of pop ups and auto-playing video display ads could also see a drastic reduction as those features no longer automatically launch in Chrome browsers. Instead, users will be forced to take and extra click action to initiate those advertisements.
So what exactly will happen to your Flash ads tomorrow?
Tommy Li, a senior engineer at Google explains, “When you’re on a Web page that runs Flash, we’ll intelligently pause content (like Flash animations) that aren’t central to the Web page, while keeping central content (like a video) playing without interruption.” Chrome is expected to grey out flash content and lay a ‘play’ icon over top in order to play the content. The extra click action to initiate marketing messages will result in drastically reduced interaction rates.
What to do with your existing Flash ads?
Do you have Adobe Flash ads running right now? Are you concerned about the effects of Google’s change on engagement rates with your ads? Don’t worry. Adobe Flash ads in Google AdWords can be easily converted to HTML5. Not running your ads through AdWords? Google has a solution for you as well. Enter Swiffy. Swiffy is a Google developer tool which will convert your existing .swf files to HTML5 on the spot. You can also use a web extension for Adobe Flash which can help publish your Flash Files as HTML5.