From 1 September 2015, advertisers all across the globe will have reason to fear and even loathe Google’s Chrome browser just a little bit. The advertising giant has recently announced that the latest version of their browser in the stable channel, Chrome 45, will restrict the ability of Flash-based video adverts to auto-play when the page finishes loading up, or while its in an inactive tab.
This begins a long battle that Google’s going to have to fight to finally kill off Flash media for goods. The search giant has tried to get advertisers to switch to HTML5 as the delivery mechanism for their adverts, which is less computationally intensive and easier on battery life. Google tried to mitigate this by putting their own, more efficient version of Flash Player in to their browser, but this hasn’t helped much in terms of performance or in reducing page loads. Thus, Chrome 45 will simply pause or defer loading any Flash video adverts on web pages and Google will use their advertising platform to begin forcing advertisers to port their adverts from Flash to HTML5.
Will this help any? Probably. If Chrome can somehow not load the videos in to system memory, that would go a long way to reducing the browser’s reputation as a memory and performance hog on its own. 64-bit versions of Chrome Canary did speed up page loads by deferring the loading of Flash content by a small amount of time, but it didn’t do much to improve the situation.
Blocking Flash adverts entirely is a big decision, surely one that Google has not made lightly. Doing so improves performance and security, because many Flash-based adverts out there on the web are vectors for viruses and malware. If this move goes through smoothly and Google does not relent, you can expect other browsers to follow in Chrome’s footsteps. Of course, if you’re on Firefox and make use of NoScript, you probably already benefit from not having to deal with Flash adverts already.
Source: Ars Technica