Flash is definitely seeing its last days. Amazon has announced that starting in September it will no longer accept Flash ads, both on Amazon.com and on the Amazon Advertising Platform.
According to Amazon, the move is largely because of the anti-Flash changes that browsers have made over the past couple of years.
"This is 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," said Amazon in a statement on its technical guidelines page. "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."
Chrome in particular has been making waves against Flash. With 45 percent of the market share, this is a big deal. Basically Chrome now automatically pauses nonessential Flash content, which is more often than not ads. Apple is another fierce enemy of Flash, and does not allow Flash to run on its iPad or iPhone.
Apart from the fact that browsers have been making moves against Flash, a number of security flaws have been discovered in the software. In July, for example, an exploit for Flash was discovered in which hackers were able to hijack the computers of any Yahoo user. Critics suggest that this exploit is just another reason for the tech industry to move away from using Flash.
Of course, Amazon's announcement isn't as big as if companies such as Google or Facebook made a similar announcement. Amazon owns around 3 percent of the U.S. online advertising market. Together, Google and Facebook own around 40 percent of the market.
"This feels very much like preparation for the Chrome change," said Eric Franchi, co-founder of Undertone, in an interview with Digiday. "Google controls the browser marker, so if you're an advertiser and you're running all your ads through Flash, then you're going to have issues soon."
Even Adobe, the creator of Flash, knows that it's on its way out. The company announced in 2011 that it would withdraw support for Flash on mobile devices, although almost 5 years later, the software is still in heavy use.
Photo: Mike Seyfang | Flickr