Archive August 14, 1017

A Brief History of How Flash Became Obsolete

It is 2017 and Flash is officially dead. There was once a time where you had to opt in to use Adobe Flash to experience almost any website in its full glory, however that earlier, simpler time has now past and this script is virtually obsolete.

It is however very impressive how Flash went from one of the most used plugins on the internet to basically an extinct species. There were several factors that contributed it Flash’s untimely demise, all of which finally coming together so strike a fatal blow to the plugin.

Here is a brief history on how Adobe Flash became completely and utterly obsolete:

• Security issues:

One of the biggest issues with Flash was how flawed it’s security protocols where. There were so many holes left unchecked in their security to where in some cases it lead to user’s computers being controlled by hackers.

If someone is scared to use your plugin for fear of the life of their laptop then you probably have a problem on your hands.

• Accessibility:

Mozilla and Apple took some serious steps to make it extremely difficult for users to see banner ads that were run by Flash. You already have to opt in to use Flash but with Firefox and Safari it was increasingly difficult to see ads made with Flash.

And if consumers can’t see adds, companies are going to see a dip in traffic and profit. When their profit dips they’re going to change something about their advertising campaign. And when they change their ad campaign they’re probably going to create ads that do not utilize Flash. And when less people are using Flash, Adobe gets hit.

Firefox forces users to opt in to see animations build in Flash with each user encounter. Chrome does enable Flash by default but will soon release a version of Chrome which will idle Flash content when a user is not actively engaging with the content.

This causes a huge problem for advertisers which will be very quick to jump ship if they want to continue to gain ad revenue.

• Downloads on downloads:

Safari forces users to go out of their way to download the Flash plugin and in updates of Safari, it has forced people who already have Flash to re-install newer versions of Flash to view the content made with the plug in.

I would be lying to you if every time I was forced to re-install Flash I didn’t fear for my computer’s life. I would check the URL over and over again making sure I was downloading from the right site.

This anxiety lead to less and less people downloading the plug in for fear of accidentally downloading malware.

Yes, Flash was the catalyst for some of the most cutting-edge animations over the course of the computer age. Without Flash, we wouldn’t have the flashy (ha!) animated advertisements we see today or have had the games we used to waste countless hours at work with. And so, we do have Adobe to thank for that, however we have now shifted into an era dominated by HTML5.