Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Amazon Will No Longer Accept Flash Ads

Ricardo Bilton, Digiday:

Amazon said this week that starting in September, it will no longer accept Flash ads on Amazon.com or on Amazon Advertising Platform, which lets advertisers target Amazon Shoppers on Amazon’s sites and across the Web.

Good news from Amazon. Here’s where Bilton loses me:

Amazon said the move is a reaction to the recent anti-Flash tweaks from browser makers, which have taken aim at the software over the past few months. Chrome, which commands nearly 45 percent of the browser market, was recently fitted with a feature that automatically pauses non-essential Flash content, which essentially means ads. Apple, the most vocal of Flash critics, doesn’t let [Flash] content run on the iPhone and iPad, and also forces Safari users to download plugins before they can view Flash content. And Firefox maker Mozilla temporarily blocked Flash content in Firefox after a security scare in June.

What is it about Apple’s stance on Flash that confounds so many journalists? Bilton makes it seem as though Adobe created a version of Flash that worked great on iOS devices and all they needed was approval from Apple, but that’s not the case. Adobe never created a version of Flash that worked really well on any mobile device. Their earliest demonstration of Flash on mobile, in 2010, was embarrassing, to say the least. A year and a half later, Adobe killed Flash on mobile, having never achieving a really workable version of it.

As far as requiring Safari users to download “plugins”, Bilton is referring to the Flash plugin being necessary to play Flash content. It’s necessary in every browser; only Chrome bundles the plugin by default, a decision that has been criticized for its inherent security risk.