As the Web 2.0 tenets of usability and personalization have moved from aspiration to expectation across the Internet, Flash ads have become not only a user nuisance but a poor business decision for advertising stakeholders. Flash ads, previously an innovative method for exposing users to interactive, moving content instead of still images, ceased living up to their value prop around the time the last jewel-tone iMac “Flavour” was unplugged and put away. Recently, as Google’s Flash-blocking policy went into effect, Flash ads went from being unpopular to officially irrelevant.
Although this transition may come as a shock to publishers and advertisers reluctant to change outdated procedures and technology, Google is doing companies a favor in the long run. The digital ecosystem has been at the mercy of Flash for too long, enduring install plugins, multiple updates, long load times that affected a site’s SEO, and, most importantly, the infamous security flaws. In addition to these practical concerns, the novelty of a rich media banner flashing across the screen, begging to be clicked, has faded as users became accustomed to ads beckoning with ever more customized appeals to their interests and habits instead of clamoring for their attention. Static, clunky Flash is just no longer worth the advertising budget drain in contrast to flexible, dynamic, fast-loading HTML5 ads.