The days of Flash have been limited for quite some time, as both marketers and Web developers have been moving away from this format. Because of issues with the platform's security and dwindling compatibility and support, use of Flash has been decreasing for some time, and many marketers have left it behind for the new HTML5 standard.
If you're still using Flash to create static ads, here's some news you can't ignore: Google has announced that its Display Network and DoubleClick Digital Marketing platforms will begin phasing out the use of Flash ads. And this switch to Google AdWords HTML5 is happening sooner than you might think!
Important Dates for All Marketers
If you're still using Flash ads and want to create a timeline for switching to HTML5, here are some important dates to mark on your calendar:
After June 30, 2016, marketers will no longer be able to upload Flash ads into the AdWords or DoubleClick Digital Marketing services. If you're running a campaign right now that includes Flash, you have a limited amount of time to get your ads out to Google. Otherwise, you'll have to convert them to HTML5.
However, even if you are able to get ads uploaded by the deadline, conversion may still be the only option for long-running campaigns. Google has confirmed that on January 2, 2017, all existing Flash ads will cease to function on both AdWords and DoubleClick. According to Digital Trends, this Google AdWords HTML5 mandate will only apply to static ads — video ads built in Flash can still be uploaded and displayed for now.
Benefits of Converting to HTML5
If you are holding out on converting to HTML5, now is the time to pull the trigger. Not only is Flash incompatible with Safari, Firefox and Chrome browsers, but with this latest development, Flash-created ads won't be able to run on the limited platforms that can display Flash content. Fortunately, the conversion process isn't all that painstaking, and Google has published a detailed support page that includes step-by-step instructions for marketers looking to bring ad campaigns into compliance with the new rules.
While it can seem daunting to change the way you create ads, the fact is that HTML5 is the new standard, and marketers clinging to the old Flash platform face the prospect of having their campaigns head into obscurity. If you have yet to switch over to the new standard, this newest development from Google should be enough to get even the most stalwart Flash supporters to switch their ad formats in the near future.