Facebook ditches Flash video in latest blow to maligned plugin

Social network and its 8bn daily video views join YouTube in switching to HTML5, which could be the critical cut that finally starts Flash’s demise

Has Facebook finally struck the fatal blow in the long, slow demise of Flash by switching to HMTL5 video by default?

The social network has switched to HTML5 for all Facebook web video, meaning videos you upload or publish on your profile or fly through on your news feed will no longer require Flash. The experience will mirror that seen on mobile devices and the Facebook apps.

In a damning indictment of the much maligned Flash, Daniel Baulig, an engineer at Facebook, said: “Not only did launching the HTML5 video player make development easier, but it also improved the video experience for people on Facebook. Videos now start playing faster. People like, comment, and share more on videos after the switch, and users have been reporting fewer bugs. People appear to be spending more time with video because of it.”

Facebook continues to support Flash-based games, which titles such as Farmville and others typically require, but for video and adverts, Flash is now dead to the social network.

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Following YouTube’s switch to HTML5 video, Facebook’s dumping of Flash for its 8bn video views a day means that the majority of web video watched is now Flash-free. A few other video-streaming sites still use the plugin, but the number was holding out is shrinking fast.

Even Adobe is moving away from Flash. Like Microsoft with Windows XP, Adobe has been trying to migrate companies away from using its tools while putting out fires left, right and center. Recently it dumped “Flash” from the name of its creative tools, which shows just how toxic the Flash brand has become.

For Facebook users, it will be business as usual, for the most part, just a little faster and without having to worry about vulnerabilities in an aging, outdated video system.

 

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Give as you Live tapped into one of the UK’s favorite and fastest growing activities: online shopping. Over 3,000 retailers have signed up to the scheme, and more than £4m has been raised so far.

In 2013 a staggering £91bn was spent online in the UK, an increase of £13bn from 2012. Give as you Live harnesses this boom in online shopping by re-directing a portion of the money shoppers spends to UK charities.

Give as you Live an affiliate scheme. It works in much the same way as a comparison site, with the retailer paying a commission for sending people to their sites – only in this case the commission is passed on to a charity of the consumer’s choice. On average, stores taking part send 2.5% of a customer’s purchase to charity.

To name their chosen charity, consumers download a plug-in. The technology works in the background, tracking the purchases eligible for a donation to charity and automatically calculating the amount the retailer needs to pass on. That means there is no need for shoppers to change their online habits, whether they prefer to shop directly with the retailer or search for items in a search engine. The only difference is that when they shop at certain stores, a percentage of what they spend is donated to charity.

Give as you Live works with all 20,000 UK charities and over 3,000 leading online retailers. At the end of January 2014 shoppers using Give as you Live had raised £4,199,940 for national and local charities.

In 2013, the scheme helped parents, teachers, and children at Bishop Gilpin primary school in Wimbledon raise over £1,000 for a new playground. The previous year is shopping through Give as you Live helped supporters of the Samaritan’s Purse campaign raise over £18,000, which went towards buying life-saving mosquito nets.

In 2014 Give as you Live won the title of “most committed company to the charity sector” at the annual Institute of Fundraising Awards. The year before, it won the business of the year and biggest social impact at the Smarta 100 awards.

Give as you Live has also become a source of valued advice and support.

The annual Digital Donor Review conducted by the scheme gives charities a detailed breakdown of how their supporters behave online, from their giving habits to general online behaviors. Each participating charity gets a customized report, giving them a unique insight into understanding their customers’ digital preferences.

“In greenback terms, it would be usual to look a preferred-hobby website lose 10%-15% of its sales,” says Blanchard. “For a site that serves 10 million page views per day, with three commercials consistent with the web page, offered at a price of $five CPM, this can translate into day by day losses of approximately $20,000.”

“One bizarre trick …”
“Purging awful commercials is just a begin to a higher net.” Photograph: Ad screenshot
The one thing all sides agree on is that the modern-day nation of on-line marketing is deplorable.

“I’d put it like this,” says Patrick Smith, of TheMediaBriefing. “The TV adverts in among the motion on the Superbowl in America are the most talked-about things within u. S . A . For a day or so after the occasion. People like them because they’re humorous, interesting, adorable or simply usually interesting. In style magazines, the marketing is part of the content material – there may be almost no distinction.

Over 500 charities have also signed up for a charity support kit containing marketing materials to help them create a compelling emotional connection with their supporters.

Give as you Live its revolutionary approach to online giving has the potential to raise billions. At the same time, with price comparison technology and big names like Amazon, Tesco and Selfridges signed up, shopping through Give as you Live a smart consumer choice.