The Death of Flash Ads: Improving the Browsing Experience

Flash Ads, Browsing Experience

Flash has been around for quite some time. In the past, adding Flash to a website or an ad was a great way to improve your browsing experience and stand out from competitors. Nowadays, however, Flash ads are considered the opposite, a nuisance rather than an advantage. The death of Flash ads may be coming upon us sooner than we think.

The Flash Shift

Flash was once embraced by all platforms and browsers. This norm however, is rapidly change. Many major sites want it gone, i.e. Facebook, Mozilla and Apple. Earlier in the year, even YouTube got rid of Flash and made HTML5 its main technology for viewing videos. Then beginning September 1, 2015, Amazon will no longer allow Flash ads on Amazon.com. Even Google is no longer allowing these types of ads. All Flash ads will be automatically converted to HTML5. In fact, Flash isn’t even supported on the Google Display Network and the DoubleClick Campaign Manager.

Many marketers and digital agencies still using Flash ads, and are left wondering why Flash is being abandoned. The main reason is that major browsers and online companies want their users to have a positive experience on their platform. The problem with Flash ads is that they don’t provide a good user experience. And that’s only one of the issues with the format.

User Experience

Speaking of user experience, the number one issue for users is that flash causes sites to load very slowly. Users no longer want to wait to get the information that they want, especially on mobile devices. Many mobile devices, including Apple iOS devices, don’t even allow Flash ads on their platform.

Furthermore, Shockwave is notorious for crashing – websites and browsers, causing major frustrations for users.

Security Issues

According to BGR, Flash is known for its poor security and major vulnerabilities. The site indicates that the “Hacking Team spyware company had about 400GB of files stolen thanks to a Flash vulnerability”. While Adobe continues to patch these identified issues, the number of security flaws persist.

Flash Ads Are Hard to Create

Although many marketers and digital agencies run Flash ads, they’re hard to hard to develop. Flash ads tend to inflate creative costs. Often the costs become prohibitive for companies who want to do rich media. Thus marketers spend a lot of money on creative that may only be seen on desktops since many mobile devices don’t support the format.

Why Marketers Need to Let Flash Die

Pushing for Flash to die allows for a transition towards doing ads with dynamic creative, which can be used to drive personalization. Personalization involves reaching specific target audiences no matter what platform or device they’re using. Since Flash ads can’t been seen on all devices, marketers can be missing important target audiences. Newer dynamic ads can be shown on all devices, making campaigns more successful.

Flash needs to be retired, and based on the number of companies abandoning it, it will be. This indicates another positive transition in the industry away from the old “traditional” media buying environment to the newer, targeted, and more successful campaign atmosphere.