Google’s announcement on the Chrome Developer Blog that it will have the browser pause (read: kill) Flash content that isn’t central to the webpage (read: ads) was received with both cheers and a bit of confusion.
Although people have responded positively to the idea of a Chrome option to quietly axe murder annoying flash ads under the auspices of saving laptop battery life, questions of why Google would kneecap ads, its greatest source of income, also popped up. Well, the answer is simple: Chrome isn’t going to kill Google’s ads.
You see, Google has been fairly aggressive in its goal of switching ads it displays to HTML5 instead of Flash. In fact, in February of this year, Google stated that it will automatically convert all Flash ads to HTML5.
Eligible Flash campaigns, both existing and new, will now be automatically converted to HTML5 when uploaded through AdWords, AdWords Editor, and many 3rd party tools.
Essentially, once this rolls out officially – it’s still only available in the Beta Desktop Chrome Browswer – Google will be murdalizing a slew of ads that aren’t theirs, and the new ad killing settings are going to be the default for the browser. This has several extremely large upsides for Google.
First, it will help Google get everyone on board with HTML5 ads. Second, it may draw advertisers away from the competition because they know that their ads will display through Chrome’s new blocking system. Possibly the biggest is it may reduce the number of people installing ad blockers. Flash ads tend to be the loudest and most annoying, so eliminating them also eliminate people’s urgent need to stop them with an ad blocker.
There doesn’t officially appear to be an official release date for the new version of Chrome to go live outside of Beta, but it’s expected to be available before the end of the year.