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Adobe Flash Projected To Have Two Years Left To Live

January 28, 2016 - Written By Daniel Fuller

Almost anybody you ask will say at this point that Adobe Flash is obsolete and fairly useless. Just a few years ago, the internet let out a collective gasp when Google announced a full-on crusade against flash while promoting HTML5. Some agreed with Google and others said that Flash would never go away because too much existing content was built on it. Nowadays, the fairly slow, resource-hungry and insecure standard can be found on just a small percentage of mobile devices and a good number of tech sites are recommending disabling it on your Windows or Linux PC and even showing you how. It should come as no surprise, then, to hear that a report by encoding.com, after sorting through over 1.45 petabytes of data, shows that Flash’s days seem to be numbered.

According to encoding.com’s report, Adobe Flash is down to only six percent of total web video. Commentary on the figures states, “While Flash is still being used for specific uses and edge cases such as banner ads and legacy browsers, it’s days are numbered. Flash outputs decreased from 21% to 6% in 2015. We expect to see the Flash video codec disappear completely from our report with 24 months.” These figures indicate a huge one-year fall for what was once the dominant web platform for multimedia, even being the default format for YouTube. Flash is still featured on a few somewhat popular websites, such as Newgrounds and Albino Black Sheep, but most of those sites are slowly migrating flash content to HTML5 alternatives where possible. Flash has already been rendered obsolete for new content creation, although it is still used rarely, as stated in the report commentary.

Rising up in Flash’s place, it seems that the somewhat old H.264, a universally accepted and used encoding method, is in first place, but the HTML5-based WebM format is close behind it. H.264 is compatible with just about every device out there, from the phone in your pocket to Raspberry Pi development boards running Linux as living room PCs. The HEVC format for high-res video, used for Apple’s FaceTime on newer iOS devices, still has yet to really take off, but the potential seems to be there.