Google to automatically convert Flash web ads to HTML5

Flash adverts will soon be automatically converted to HTML5, to make mobile advert experience smoother

Adobe Flash

Google is about to make mobile adverts less frustrating by automatically converting Flash ads into HTML5.

The search giant made the decision due to the fact many mobile devices don't support Adobe's Flash, making adverts from Google Adwords and third parties annoying to watch.

"Over half of time spent online is now spent on mobile devices," Google wrote in a blog post. "This presents a tremendous opportunity for marketers to reach their customers throughout the day, whenever they may be browsing.

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"With this new tool plus our best practices and versatile mobile ad formats, we're making it easier for marketers to deliver beautiful display ads that just work regardless of screen or device ensuring a better experience for both consumers and brands."

IT Pro first reported that YouTube would be switching from Adobe Flash to HTML5 in January, with work on the change apparently beginning four years ago.

Previously, adoption of HTML5 had been blocked by its lack of support for Adaptive Bitrate (ABR), but Google's Swiffy tool will now convert Flash ads to the coding language.

"Over the last four years, we've worked with browser vendors and the broader community to close those gaps, and now, YouTube uses HTML5 video by default in Chrome, IE 11, Safari 8 and in beta version of Firefox," engineering manager Richard Leider said in a developers blog.

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On Google's page for users wanting to determine which format their ads are running in, the company warned that not all Flash ads can be converted to HTML5.

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"To see whether your Flash ad will convert, upload it to the Swiffy tool," the page read. "If this tool is able to convert your ad, then your ad will be automatically converted when it is uploaded to AdWords.

"To see in your AdWords reports whether your Flash ad was converted, segment your ad table by devices. If you see mobile or tablet impressions for a Flash ad, then your ad was converted."

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