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Google Chrome freezes Flash ads

News, 02 September 2015
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SAN FRANCISCO: Beginning September 1st 2015, Adobe Flash ads have been frozen on Google's Chrome browser as the internet giant seeks to encourage developers to use HTML5 to improve performance and reduce battery consumption.

The move, which Google Chrome first highlighted in June, means Flash ads will be paused by default so that users will have to click on the link to play them rather than the content playing automatically.

Even though Chrome users who still want Flash content to autoplay as usual will be able to change the default settings, the development raises questions about the future for Flash ads, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"HTML5 is the way forward, and that has become clearer and clearer," said Scott Cunningham, svp of technology and ad operations at the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), which last month issued guidance for public comment.

The IAB wanted to explore how the industry could make the switch to HTML5 and its promise of "rich, immersive digital advertising creative that is cost effective".

Flash is already blocked on Mozilla's Firefox browser over security concerns and Apple does not support the software for its iPhone, but now Amazon is also taking action.

The ecommerce giant announced that, as a direct result of Google Chrome's update, it too would no longer accept Adobe Flash for rendering display ads on its sites.

"This is driven by recent browser setting updates from Google Chrome, and existing browser settings from Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari, that limits Flash display ad capabilities displayed on web pages," Amazon said in a statement.

"This change ensures customers continue to have a positive, consistent experience on Amazon, and that display ads function properly for optimal performance."

Data sourced from Google, Wall Street Journal, IAB, Amazon; additional content by Warc staff

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