The World Wide Web has transformed the way humans go about their lives. It is quite incredible to know that the Internet did not exist 50 years ago. Today, it occupies a crucial role in almost every facet, but this dominance has not been brought about by a single entity. The Internet has been assisted by a range of technologies over the course of its short history and one of the important roles has been played by Flash.
Rise of Flash
Flash hit the Internet in 1996 and it was a software that changed the way Internet delivered its content to its users. Most of the Internet up until that point had relied on text and images in order to convey the content, but Flash made it possible to deliver multimedia like never before. It also made it possible for websites to deliver content across different platforms and browsers. Hence, there was no longer a difference in Internet multimedia consumption between users with Windows or Mac operating system. The use of Flash exploded after the turn-of-the-century, as websites began incorporating this software as the de facto option for delivering content.
Advantages of Flash
One of the major advantages of Flash was the ease of use; anyone with little programming knowledge can excel when it comes to providing high-quality content on flash. Furthermore, there was a significant amount of data being saved while using Flash. The earlier technologies to deliver multimedia content used a lot of bandwidth and it made the sites much slower; it was not really a desirable quality at a time when Internet speeds were a fraction of the modern day figures.
Adobe provided Flash player as an easy way for websites to accept, host, and share content. Over the years, several updates to this player have been made and these even included adding a search functionality over the course of its history.
Among the extremely popular names to adopt Flash at its peak happens to be YouTube. This video sharing platform recognised the power of this software when it comes to making content visible across multiple devices and platforms, while still managing to hold a lot of advantages at sharing the content. The YouTube not only showed that media can be easily hosted, but sharing was also possible due to Flash player’s ability to be embedded across the Internet.
The Rise of New Technologies
The world of technology has been changing at a furious pace and it is not surprising that Flash started getting left out of the party a decade ago. While Flash was extremely convenient for use across different platforms and also had the advantage of lower bandwidth, the software had its fair share of problems that simply could not be overcome in time. A cumbersome element with Flash was the lack of search engine optimisation, which was fast becoming a major tool for websites to gain traffic with Google weeding out all the black hat SEO techniques that had been prevalent up until then.
Flash had very little SEO properties and there was simply little way of telling the search engines about the nature of the content. This led to alternative technologies coming into the fray and one of the key names in this regard was HTML5. Not only was this new technology more convenient than Flash, but it also enhanced several aspects of the Adobe software while bringing new features to the party.
HTML5 and Flash
The HTML5 technology made it possible for website users to provide far greater levels of security than with Flash, which had been frequently exposed to security flaws towards the end of its life cycle. Furthermore, it was much easier to customise using HTML5 and it also required far less space. Since there was a huge need for content that played across different platforms, Flash was not able to compete with HTML5. Websites could offer a way to play videos straight away, offer more information to search engines, and provide faster loading web pages to users.
It is no wonder that websites and companies started switching to HTML5 since 2015. YouTube and Miniclip Games are the two major names that made the switch in 2015. The latter was especially Flash heavy, but the availability of HTML5 games made it a lot more user-friendly. Several iGaming developers who were catering to online casinos have also switched to this new technology; Microgaming, who are a developer serving the likes of Betway Casino, happens to be the best example of this switch.
There can be no doubts about the role played by Flash in making the Internet as we know it today. The multimedia content makes the Internet so powerful, and Flash was one of the first ways through which media was made accessible to all Internet users. While it may have met its sunset, Flash will be remembered for a long time.