Facebook bids goodbye to Adobe Flash, welcomes HTML5

Slow death continues for Adobe Flash, as Facebook video players to run on HTML5

Facebook today has joined the list of tech giants, who have decided to do away with Adobe Flash. They have announced that every video on its platform will now play on the HTML5 format by default. Flash had been hit by different malicious software, proving its vulnerability and has become an easy target for hackers.

“We are continuing to work together with Adobe to deliver a reliable and secure Flash experience for games on our platform,” Facebook front-end engineer Daniel Baulig wrote in a blog post, “but have shipped the change for video to all browsers by default.”

The company explained that switching to a HTML5 video player made “development easier” and improves “the video experience for people on Facebook,” including videos playing faster and reports of fewer bugs.

The move comes just a few weeks after Flash creator Adobe started discouraging content creators from using Flash in favour of newer web standards, like, for example, HTML5.

Formerly, HTML5 handled the heavy lifting for Web video surfaces, including video for Newsfeed and various Pages, but didn’t work optimally on older browsers. As a result, some of Facebook’s content had to load in Flash. However, the company has done extensive debugging to officially make HTML5 the default across the board.

“We decided to initially launch the HTML5 player to only a small set of browsers, and continuously roll out to more browsers, versions, and operating systems as we improved it and fixed small bugs,” Baulig said.

Facebook is sure that the decision to upgrade to HTML5 will pay off by nullifying the various problems experienced with Flash in the past.

In the long term, Baulig explains that the users will get an improved experience when it comes to video-playing, which is an integral aspect of the social networking experience and will be prone to lesser complaints. On the development side, the switch allows the team to take advantage of Facebook’s HTML5 tools, like jest and WebDriver.

HTML5 videos are currently available on Facebook’s News Feed, Pages, and in the Facebook video player embedded on third-party sites.

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