Google to freeze Flash ads in Chrome

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Google to freeze Flash ads in Chrome

To improve browser performance.

Google will stop Adobe Flash's ability to auto-play in its Chrome web browser from next week to boost the browser's performance.

From September 1 US time (September 2 Australian time), non-important Flash files in Chrome will become click-to-play by default, remaining suspended unless a user chooses to run the ad.

Consumers who would prefer to have Flash ads run automatically can select this option.

In June Google said it would change the way Flash content is displayed on websites in co-operation with Adobe.

It means 'non-essential' Flash content - mostly comprising advertisements - would be automatically paused, while 'essential' content such as embedded video players will be able to run automatically.

The motive was to improve Chrome's performance by removing multiple pieces of Flash content running at the same time. Under the new approach, only the main plugin content on websites will be able to run automatically.

Google has advised those concerned about their advertisements being frozen out to consider switching to HTML5. 

It joins the ranks of major players moving away from Flash, such as retailer Amazon, which recently banned Flash ads from appearing on its multi-site ad platform. Similarly, last month Facebook infosec chief Alex Stamos called for Adobe to discontinue Flash.

Flash has historically been a popular choice for playback of audio and video in web browsers, despite being plagued by frequent remotely exploitable vulnerabilities.

Its usage within websites has declined in recent years, while HTML5 has grown in support thanks to the backing of Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, Google and others.

Early this year Google moved to HTML5 as its default media player over Flash for its YouTube service.

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