Flash Lives–Thanks To Facebook and Games

by Bach B
This week, i am going to blog about Flash, an almost-dead web technology, when its developer, Adobe, announced that they stopped developing Flash for mobile devices, and a more advanced web technology, HTML 5.0, has been introduced recently. However, while most websites developers starts moving on to HTML 5.0 or PHP, there are still many sites that have a large amount of Flash-only content. For example, Facebook, with over five hundred millions users all over the world, currently is one of the most popular websites that still uses Flash. Flash may be on its last legs, but it seems to be that Facebook is doing a great job to keep Adobe’s plug-in alive.

But how? Facebook itself is mostly built on PHP and Javascript. However, one of its most popular features, game apps, is built on Flash. According to AppData, popular game apps on Facebook, such as FarmVille, The Sim Social, The World With Friends, etc, has an average of 22 million users per month. There are more people playing Farmville (and by extension, using Flash) than there are in the state of New York, which has only 19 million residents. Therefore, Flash still has a pretty decent number of users just from Facebook.

And the next question is why game developers still prefer to use Flash than HTML 5.0 to develop their games? The answer is from the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco in February. John Spinale, Senior Vice President of Social Games for Disney Interactive, explained that HTML 5.0 just was not ready and was not capable of everything that Flash currently does. He went on to say that “HTML 5 works for simple games, but that we probably won’t see more advanced games taking advantage of the technology for at least another two years”. Will Harbin, The CEO of Kixeye, agreed with Spinale, and also stated that HTML 5.0 was still in its infancy and not yet capable of providing a core gaming experience.

However, this does not mean that Flash will last forever. It just means that the web will be stuck using it until a suitable alternative is found. Flash development has already been halted for mobile, so sooner or later, Adobe will also stop developing Flash on desktop.

Personally, i love Flash due to how much it can do for websites, videos, graphical features, since i did spent some my highschool time with those early website with only texts, some static pictures, and more texts, until Flash appeared and opened a new world to web surfers. But i also hate Flash that it slows down the page loading to unbearable speed, especially when you used dial-up for surfing, not mention to it would crash here and there for some mysterious reasons. In my experience with games, the developers usually jump to new developing engines every 3-5 years. Thus, i think it would be the same for web games, and Flash will be just a memorial in next 2-3 years.

Rodriguez, Armando( Feb 11, 2012 ), PCWorld, Flash Lives–Thanks To Facebook and Games, from http://www.pcworld.com/article/249746/flash_livesthanks_to_facebook_and_games.html

4 thoughts on “Flash Lives–Thanks To Facebook and Games”

  1. If Adobe and web browser remain adamant in supporting Flash, Flash developers will continue using the platform and not drop out of it from fear of loss of support. The whole situation is comparable to the “battle” between HD DVD and Blu-Ray, where both formats were fairly similar in quality, but were competing for retail dominance. As we know, Blu-Ray won the battle when manufacturing companies (Toshiba for example) and retail companies (Wal-Mart) announced total Blu-Ray support and inventory. Like HD DVD, Flash will “lose” when the platform loses support/compatibility.

  2. At least you will still have fond memories of Flash. I can not say that I have that much attached to it, but it has been useful during its lifetime. At the very least, it has a cooler name than HTML5.

  3. I personally believe that flash is going to stay around for quite some time even after Adobe stops supporting it. Mostly because of the community driven projects that are out there supporting it on a different front. I'm speaking of the niche of Flash games that tons of teenagers and developers work on. So as long as there are people out there willing to develop on a platform I'm sure it will stick around.

  4. Flash will be around for a while, just because it's not supported does not mean it will die off. There are plenty of Windows 98 Machines out there and Microsoft stopped support of those. Though I just wrote an article on why Flash is dying off this week, might be worth a read.

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