Google trimming support for Flash on Chrome browser

Browser maker plans to scale back support for Flash before the calendar year is over

Adobe Flash hit with zero day vulnerability again

Google is preparing to greatly minimise support for Adobe's Flash media plug-in on its Chrome browser by the end of 2016.

The software, which is allows videos and other multimedia content to function, will only be enabled by default for 10 sites, which include YouTube, Facebook and Amazon.com.

On all other sites users will have to opt-in to activate it.

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Flash player has existed since the 1990s, but today is frequently targeted by cybercriminals as a way of exploiting bugs that can compromise users' devices.

Many browser makers have chosen to end support for Flash because of its poor reputation for security, such as Firefox.

Google's decision to reduce its support for Flash was spotted on a Chromium developer discussion forum, where Anthony Laforge, Google's technical lead on Chrome, explained that metrics revealed the 10 chosen sites were the most popular Flash-using sites that users visited.

Other sites on the list include Twitch.tv, Yahoo.com, VK.com, Live.com, Yandex.ru, OK.ru, Mail.ru.

"While Flash historically has been critical for rich media on the web, today in many cases HTML5 provides a more integrated media experience with faster load times and lower power consumption," wrote Laforge.

"This change reflects the maturity of HTML5 and its ability to deliver an excellent user experience. We will continue to work closely with Adobe and other browser vendors to keep moving the web platform forward, in particular paying close attention to web gaming."

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Web games are one of the areas where Flash is still frequently used, because of its simplicity and low technical requirements. Flash-powered web games appear on promotional sites, educational portal, children's sites and others.

Google said it plans to ensure that Flash still runs uninterrupted in cases such as company's internal sites.

Earlier this year, Google announced that it would be ending support for Flash-based adverts on its services.

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