Google announced today that it’s taking further moves to “de-emphasize” Flash by blocking background Flash elements in September with the release of Chrome 53.
With this move, at least on Chrome, users should start seeing page load times increase drastically, at least on websites that support Flash elements in the background.
“Today, more than 90% of Flash on the web loads behind the scenes to support things like page analytics. This kind of Flash slows you down, and starting this September, Chrome 53 will begin to block it. HTML5 is much lighter and faster, and publishers are switching over to speed up page loading and save you more battery life. You’ll see an improvement in responsiveness and efficiency for many sites.”
Google made some similar changes to how Chrome handled Flash in September of 2015, where Flash content became click-to-play. The search giant said this had an almost immediate positive affect on the user experience, as load times increased drastically. Not only that, but it was a huge battery saver.
Chrome 53 will launch in September, but Google is looking to take things a step further with December’s Chrome 55. While it’s not the final nail in the coffin, Chrome 55 will make HTML5 the default experience, excluding websites that exclusively support Flash. Google says that to use these websites, you’ll be prompted to enable Flash before proceeding.
This news certainly isn’t a bad thing, as it aims to make the Web more fast and efficient. However, it is a bit of a rough transition and will be bad news for websites that rely on Flash almost exclusively.