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Facebook switches to HTML5 player for Videos, kicks Flash out

Facebook switches to HTML5 player for Videos, kicks Flash out

by AshwinDecember 21, 2015

Facebook’s latest move has delivered a mighty whack to Adobe Flash.

The popular social networking website, has officially dropped support for the now infamous plugin.

Now, all videos on the website, will be using the HTML5 player by default on all web browsers. HTML5 is also used in Facebook’s News Feed and Pages.

Facebook’s decision isn’t remotely surprising. The social networking website’s Chief Security Officer, Alex Stamos, publicly criticized Adobe this year, calling for the company to end support for Flash due to the plugin’s vulnerabilities.

This was during the time when a major security firm got hacked, due to a vulnerability in Flash, which unfortunately resulted in several hundred gigabytes of data being stolen. The issue was so serious, that it led to browser maker Mozilla, to ban the plugin, in its popular application, Firefox.

Though the ban was shortlived, being revoked as soon as Adobe patched things up, Flash has been found to be vulnerable in many more ways, and continues to be patched by its parent company.

HTML5 on the other hand is more secure, and is flexible, and offers a lot towards development, which is why it is becoming the most popular web content software today.

Facebook announced the news that it is moving to the new web player, in an official blog post. The company says it launched the HTML5 player to a few browsers, and operating systems, to focus on improving it and fixing bugs. After tweaking it to work well with all browsers, it has shipped the HTML5 player to be the default one.

This apparently has a positive effect on users, as pages now load faster on HTLM5, and videos start playing faster. Facebook says it has seen a rise in user interactions (likes, shares, comments, video views) since it enabled the new player.

Flash isn’t totally gone from Facebook. The social networking website has many apps and games, and all of these are based on Flash. But the company says it is working with Adobe to ensure that users have a secure experience.

Facebook videos follows Google’s YouTube which dropped support for Flash, to move onto HTML5, earlier this year. Flash is quickly becoming obsolete, as are many NPAPI plugins. This unfortunately doesn’t mean that Flash is gone for good, not yet anyway. The majority of websites use Adobe Flashed based web content, ranging from videos, forms, banners, and of course ad-services.

Mozilla’s intent to support Flash beyond 2016, despite killing off NPAPI plugins, is a good example of just how widely used the Adobe web content is.