Google’s Chrome browser will begin to pause many Flash Ads by default starting in September in order to improve performance for its users. The change, which was first announced in June of this year, was initially rolled out in beta version on Chrome desktop web browser.
At the time, Google noted that it would pause the Flash content that it deemed was not ‘important’ to you, while still allowing you to watch the videos you wanted to see. And in case that it had incorrectly paused content you did want to view, you could simply click on the item to resume playback.
Stopping Flash content, like auto-playing advertisements, makes sense in today’s increasingly mobile world where web surfers are just as likely to be surfing using an untethered laptop as they are sitting at a desktop computer. Auto-playing Flash content can quickly drain a laptop’s battery, slow it down and often get on users’ nerves.
With reference to Flash advertisements, Google points out that most Flash ads uploaded to AdWords are automatically converted to HTML5. However, advertisers who need to ensure their ads continue to show on the Google Display Network will need to identify those ads not eligible for automatic conversion and then make the conversions themselves.
Google, like other tech companies, including most notably Apple, has been working to distance itself from Flash technology for some time. In January, Google-owned YouTube switched over to streaming HTML5 video by default, for example.
However, video gaming is a major area where the technology still seems to have a hold. For game developers, the concern is that browser makers will eventually stop supporting the technology altogether, meaning that tens of thousands of online games would stop working.
Chrome’s latest move to stop playing Flash content automatically is not exactly reaching that point yet, but it is certainly a step in that general direction.