HTML5-Present-Past-and-Future

We had a good run, Flash. For a while there I thought we might make it, but I think I might have found something better. I’m sorry – it’s over.

The technology industry stands still for no-one, and unfortunately in this case it appears that our dear old friend Flash may fall victim to the desire to find better and bigger solutions. Professionals still have their favourites and there is no clear cut victor, but it is looking increasingly likely that HTML5 will be the format of choice for the future.

How have we got to this point?

HTML5 can be everywhere

This is an incredible bonus for advertising agencies and brands who want to run a campaign without any targeting or platform limits. There is no need to install any plugin or additional application, as HTML5 can render multimedia content instantly within a browser. This ability to access HTML5 content immediately allows for a smoother flow and less disrupted experience.

Mobile marketing means business

Mobile marketing, and specifically Rich Media mobile marketing, is on the rise and becoming the more effective and dominant method favoured over standard static banners. With consistently impressive engagement rates and beautiful aesthetics, HTML5 ads are supremely attractive, both to brands and consumers.

Flash has been edged out by the growth in popularity and the demand for the most efficient mobile marketing available. No iPhone and many Android handsets don’t support Flash, leaving only the trusty PC as a Flash playground. These incredibly limited capabilities will only further hurt Flash as Rich Media mobile marketing gains traction.

HTML5 is a product of team work

In this case, too many cooks have not spoiled the broth. HTML5 is the accumulation of many developers’ hard work and two decades of technological evolution. The effort and patience has paid off, as HTML5 is recognisably unique compared to Flash and more polished. You could argue that Flash, birthed sometime around the beginning of the Internet, has had the same amount of time to grow and improve. The Flash community has a strong foundation and a large resource pool that much is true, but the undulating power and necessity of being mobile-friendly may be the final push off the relevancy cliff.

Having a larger development pool, HTML5 has been tweaked and manufactured to maintain a high level of compatibility across all platforms. Flash has been known to run slowly on Mac OS X and Linux, but HTML5 performs solidly across all. On Mac OS X, for example, HTML5 runs 58% faster than Flash (ironic, considering).

Steve Jobs says so

Steve Jobs’ thoughts on Flash are available to read online, and he makes his case against why Apple decided to use HTML5 instead of Flash very clear. HTML5, unlike Flash, is “open”; Flash has Adobe as the great overseer, while HTML5 (along with JavaScript and CSS) is open standard and controlled by a standards committee.

One of, if not the most important factor for Apple (and all other mobile manufacturers) is that HTML5 works with touchscreen devices. Flash was designed with PCs in mind, complete with using a mouse that activates “rollovers” on a website when the mouse arrow hovers over a specific spot. Though impressive and slick on a website, this ability is immediately rendered redundant on a smartphone.

Flash’s inability to be supported by a large portion of mobile handsets may just end up being the final nail in what has been a durable, wonderful relationship.

Where do you think mobile advertising will be in a year’s time? Do you think HTML5 will be the format of choice for brands and advertisers? Let us know your experiences with Flash and HTML5 in the comments below.

This blog post was written by Amy Coen, Marketing Communications Assistant at M-BIZ Global.