Today is DF-Day folks that is Death of Flash day. Today Google Chrome turned off their support for Flash ads. Google’s decision to move away from the ad format will have the widest-reaching impact as Chrome accounts for roughly 45% of browsers currently in use.
Google’s post-Flash switch works like this: the tech co has promised it will pause nonessential Flash components (that is, Flash in advertising), when loading web-pages. Ads still load, and ad
impressions are still counted, but the content itself will be paused and users will have to click the play button that appears in the middle of the ad if they want to watch it.
Flash will still work for essential components on websites, Google has promised.
What does the switch from Flash Ad to HTML5 mean for publishers?
Well, for one thing, publishers that continue to run Flash-based advertising will probably see a drop in click through rate, not to mention fewer people actually seeing the ad in the first place.
It also means publishers really should make the switch over to HTML5 ads – the language that Google is pushing as the replacement for Flash. This is the logical next step for publishers anyways, and this death-knell for Flash is just helping speed up the process. HTML5 is the preferred format for ad creative because it can render across any device, which means ads don’t need to be coded for different browsers or mobile devices. It’s also free, does not require any third-party plugins, which means there are fewer security vulnerabilities and uses fewer resources which means better battery life for mobile users.
How do I make the switch from Flash ad to HTML5?
Advertisers will need to provide the new creative here, so don't be afraid to communicate with them about the change and make HTML5 a required format.
If you can’t do that, or if advertisers (for some reason) refuse to provide HTML5 creatives, there are a number of tools online that can help convert certain Flash files. Google’s Swiffy program will convert roughly 50% of all Flash content into HTML5, with a planned improvement rate of 90%. Online tools such as Google Web Designer and DoubleClick Studio Layout offer pre-made HTML5 templates – simply select the format and upload creative assets.
If your ad network is serving your Flash ads, be sure to send them a message inquiring about the switch. We at Sortable are also happy to help with this switch, though we expect programmatic ad to make the change rather quickly.
What are the HTML5 ad design specs?
There are a few types of loads that are worth keeping in mind when designing your HTML5 ads.
First, you’ve got initial load, whereby assets are immediately loaded when the ad tag is inserted onto the page. It’s recommended for Desktop/Tablet 150kB or mobile (mWeb and in-app) 40kB. Typically, older specifications set this at 40kB. Initial load allows for a more engaging user experience, without slowing down the publisher’s page load.
Second, you’ve got politely loaded, in which all the creative is loaded once the host page has completed loading. It’s recommended for Desktop/Tablet 2 MB and mobile (mWeb and in-App) 300kB. Typical specifications set this at 150kB.
We also recommend both publishers and advertisers switch to these specifications, which include using an HTML5-certified ad server. It’s important to note that HTML5 allows for richer creative, but often requires flexible size restrictions.
Sortable helps small publishers understand Ad Operations. We run 30 different websites and apps and would be happy to share what we have learned with other publishers.