Adobe Flash is a multimedia platform used for numerous web applications across the internet. While Flash offers web designers the ability to augment their sites with interactive content, including streaming and online gaming capabilities, unfortunately, the software frequently leaves sites vulnerable, creating a security hole easily exploitable by hackers. Adobe does its best to stay ahead of the cyber thieves by frequently updating its software, however, with an increasing number of programming-literate internet users, it’s a nearly impossible feat this day in age. These security issues grew so prevalent in recent years that Google had to begin warning its mobile users in search results which sites used Flash due to the frequency of cyber attacks originating from Flash.
In a move designed to virtually eliminate this security hole, Google recently announced that Chrome will begin to stop supporting Adobe Flash in late 2016. However, considering Flash is still an essential component on a number of the internet’s biggest sites, Chrome will continue to support Flash on different 10 sites, including Facebook and YouTube. This move marks a major shake-up to the landscape of internet design, seeing as approximately 70% of web users choose to browse the internet via Chrome. Google’s decision to stop supporting Flash shouldn’t come as a surprise to online marketers, as back in February, Google announced that they will no longer allow Flash-based advertisements to be used with Display Network campaigns.
While only these 10 sites will have Flash automatically enabled, users can still activate Flash on all sites across the web, but will first have to grant permission. For the 10 sites that will continue running Flash by default, Google has only allowed them a one-year exemption, meaning that after one year, they too will have to comply with Chrome’s new format.
In addition to making the internet safer for Chrome users, marginalizing Flash’s prevalence will also increase the speed of basically any site using Flash. Due to the software’s lofty usage rate, this move will also cut down on the amount of battery life that browsing on these Flash-heavy sites will consume.