BPI Ditches Flash and So Should You
HTML5 has been around since 2008, but developers have been slow to adopt the program mainly because of the lack of standardization and browser support. In 2010, Steve Jobs published an open letter banning Flash on all iPhone products. Even after the word came down from Jobs, the advertising industry as a whole did not make the move to HTML5. Until recently, most website traffic came through desktop and users experienced Flash ads just fine, making it difficult to spur industry-wide change. With Google’s announcement to limit Flash on Chrome starting in September and Firefox’s ban of Flash ads this summer, it is clear that the industry is moving toward an HTML5 world. More than 96% of browsers support HTML5, so now is the time. Here at BPI we welcome this development.
Why is this shift from Flash to HTML5 so beneficial?
- Mobile Compatibility: HTML5 is not only responsive, but also compatible across all mobile and tablet devices. With more users reaching first for their mobile or tablet devices, running HTML5 ads will help scale and reach audiences. Responsive ads means that you can build out one ad and have it render correctly across all platforms and devices, giving the end user a more seamless and integrated experience. HTML5 can change how ads look across your entire campaign and it is important to build a mobile ad first and then size up to larger sizes or other mediums. While the old approach favored starting with a large print ad and working your way down, HTML5 encourages the reverse. Taking an ad from a large print ad to a mobile ad is jarring and content can be lost in the downsizing process.
- Improved Interactions: HTML5 can support richer creative across all devices. Interactive videos will now work on phones and tablets. Currently, viewers are often shown a teaser and then directed to download an app or driven to a desktop for the full video, creating a broken user experience. Now with HTML5, code is simpler and cleaner to implement on the back end, encouraging more video platforms to join the movement. YouTube, for example, switched over earlier this year to HTML5.
- Smarter Storage: HTML5 has a local storage feature that allows for better security and storage across multiple browsers. Data is retained even after a browser is closed, which allows for storing user information, caching data and the ability to load your previous application state.
- Cross-Platform Compatibility: HTML5’s viewability across screens promises to widen the potential audience, which increases overall brand reach. Flash requires plug-ins to function properly and when the plug-in doesn’t work, the creative doesn’t either. In contrast, HTML5 runs across all browsers and devices without requiring installation or maintenance, which guarantees consistent creative execution to all audiences and creates a better user experience. Side bonus? It also cuts development time down.
By now, most, if not all, digital agencies will need to move creative advertising units to HTML5. The move from Flash to HTML5 can be challenging, so start the process now and work with your digital agency to determine capabilities. A solid HTML5 foundation will improve user experience and allow for an integrated feel across campaign mediums. It is time to get on board. Are you in?