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Adobe Flash Alternatives for advertisers and publishers

  • Published on September 28, 2015
Adobe Flash Alternatives for advertisers and publishers

Publishers who distribute online advertisements are looking for alternatives to Flash, the interactive platform distributed by Adobe Systems. A widespread move away from Flash for advertisements, video, and interactivity is underway. While there is no single Flash alternative, content providers are supporting a number of options to make it easier for advertisers and publishers to move away from Flash.

Why there is a shift away from Flash

There are several reasons why web publishers are seeking alternatives to Flash. Recently Google Chrome, one of the most widely used web browsers, started blocking Flash ads. This means that advertisements in the Flash file format, swf, will no longer play using the default settings of the Chrome browser. This is coupled with the existing inability of Flash based content to display on iOS devices - the iPad and iPhone.  These problems for Flash started during the time that Steve Jobs controlled Apple, when he announced that Flash should have no place on phones and tablets because it quickly drained battery power and frequently crashed on its own or caused other applications to crash. As time progressed, Flash also because a security problem, allowing hackers to take control of unsuspecting users’ computers.

The problems with Flash have multiplied, as recent security exploits have found ways in which hackers can use Flash to take control of an individual’s computer. The risk of supporting a hacker-friendly technology has made many want to move away from Flash. There are several groups who are looking for alternatives to Flash: those creating and displaying advertisements, and those who are creating interactive content for their own site, and those creating video content.

Alternatives to Flash for non-programmers

Advertisers looking for alternatives to Flash can turn to another Adobe tool that generates HTML5 content instead of Flash files, Adobe Edge Animate. Edge Animate provides a visual interface for designing animations and advertisements that can be exported as modern HTML, sometimes known as HTML5, without the use of Flash. A skilled Flash user can typically learn Adobe Edge in a single day.

Flash alternatives for web developers

Those comfortable with programming HTML and CSS can expand their skills to learn HTML5 and CSS3 to programmatically learn the ways to control interactive content without the use of Flash. An HTML5 class or CSS3 course is a good way to learn the skills needed for the modern web, and generally take two days of time for skilled web developers to learn the HTML5 or CSS3 skills needed to replace Flash.

About the author

Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the publisher and editor of the Digital Classroom book series, which have sold more than one million copies. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and HP. An expert on web analytics and digital marketing, he delivers Google Analytics training along with workshops on digital marketing topics. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.