This has been the year of the slow death of Adobe Flash and it was once the most widely used standard for displaying video content on the web. It was prevalent everywhere and was popularized by video hosting platforms like YouTube and required you to have the plugin. Some browsers like Google Chrome had Flash preinstalled while others like Mozilla required you to install Flash separately.
Not everyone was a fan of Flash. We have to credit Steve Jobs, Apple Inc. founder, for the start of the inevitable death of Adobe Flash. He wrote about his thoughts about the standard at a time when 75% of the web was in Flash. He favoured HTML5 which is now becoming the standard. The 3 biggest problems about the standard is that it was controlled by Adobe, it was resource intensive and was a major cause of poor battery life in devices.
This year, we’ve seen major platforms ditching Flash for HTML5. YouTube decided to default to HTML5 on browsers. Twitch, a streaming website dedicated for gaming also started efforts to move to HTML5 by redesigning their player. Facebook has now officially joined the roster of platforms that have decided to move to HTML5 powered video.
In the post, they give the reasons why they chose to move to HTML5. In general they say that “Moving to HTML5 best enables us to continue to innovate quickly and at scale, given Facebook’s large size and complex needs.” Facebook’s Chief Security Officer, Alex Stamos had voiced his opinions about Flash way back in July.
As we usher in the next year, more and more platforms will adopt HTML5 video and since Flash was quite widespread back in the day, its demise will still take some time. As Steve Jobs says in his post about Adobe Flash: “Flash was created during the PC era- for PCs and mice” and since we are in the smartphone era, we should stop using it completely.