Mozilla Set to Block ‘Non Essential’ Flash Content

Browser-maker Mozilla is set to hammer another nail in the coffin of Adobe Flash next month by blocking related content which is “not essential” to the user experience, although legacy Flash content will be left alone for now.

The Firefox developer claimed in a blog post last week that the move would make the browsing experience safer, faster and more responsive, and would also improve battery life for users on mobile devices.

Specifically, Mozilla will block content invisible to users, expecting it will reduce Flash crashes and hangs by up to 10%.

“To minimize website compatibility problems, the changes are initially limited to a short, curated list of Flash content that can be replaced with HTML,” it said.

“Later this year, we plan to expand this list to include the use of Flash to check content viewability, a common practice to measure advertising. This will improve Firefox performance and device battery life.”

Content producers currently using Flash were advised to use the new HTML Intersection Observer API to measure viewability as soon as it’s available.

Next year, Mozilla will go even further to marginalize Flash content.

It plans to switch on “click-to-activate approval” from users before a website activates Flash plugins for any content. Website owners were advised to migrate from Flash and Silverlight for videos or games to HTML alternatives such as Adobe Primetime and Google Widevine.

Adobe’s much-maligned software continues to be a favorite target for cyber-criminals.

In this month’s Patch Tuesday update round, it even managed to overshadow Microsoft’s updates. In total, the APSB16-25 patch fixed a whopping 52 bugs in Flash Player.

Mozilla is not the only big name to begin distancing itself from Flash.

Since 30 June, Google no longer allows Flash ads to be uploaded to AdWords or DoubleClick Digital Marketing, and from 2 January 2017, Flash-based display ads won’t be allowed to run on the Google Display Network or through DoubleClick.

Amazon also announced a ban on Flash ads last year.

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