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Amazon to reject Flash-based ads from next month

Fri 21 Aug 2015

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Amazon has announced that it will no longer accept Flash-based ads from September 1st on Amazon.com or its third-party advertising platform.

In a statement on Amazon’s Advertising Program, which lets advertisers target Amazon Shoppers on Amazon’s sites and across the web, the move was driven by “recent browser setting updates from Google Chrome, and existing browser settings from Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari, that limits Flash content displayed on web pages”.

The news comes following a remarkable year and downfall for Adobe Flash, with Google Chrome recently cutting down on the amount of Flash content the browser plays automatically, whilst additionally being disabled in Firefox by Mozilla. Safari forces users to download plugins before they can use Flash content, with Apple also not letting Flash content run on iOS.

In addition, Google has begun automatically converting Flash ads to HTML5, whilst YouTube has also ditched Flash for HTML5 video by default.

With Flash notorious for security flaws, Yahoo was earlier this month the target of a massive “malvertising” campaign, which attempted to use a vulnerability in Flash to hijack the computers of Yahoo users, installing a mixture of ad fraud and ransomware programs in the process.

Amazon added “This change ensures customers continue to have a positive, consistent experience across Amazon and its affiliates, and that ads displayed across the site function properly for optimal performance”.

Flash has long been on the decline, with Steve Jobs calling for the end of Flash in an open letter to Adobe in 2010, and more recently Facebook’s Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos calling for Flash’s death in a post on Twitter: “It is time for Adobe to announce the end-of-life date for Flash and to ask the browsers to set killbits on the same day”.

Since 1996, Flash has been used to display interactive web pages, online games, and to playback video and audio content, but 19 years later it would appear the end is near.


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