What is the tipping point for when a new technology becomes an unstoppable force in the market? This is a vital question for creators of content, as they need to determine whether their efforts are in the proper format to suit the times. If not, answers must be quickly sought and if so, investment can be safely increased.
The current schism worth studying involves how rich digital content appears online - for years, Flash was the standard. The fact that it required a plugin was immaterial, as it was so ubiquitous that everyone just downloaded the plugin. Now, however, HTML5 has shown that such a model is not required. Major tech providers have seen the benefits of operating in the new cross-platform mode, with its ability to function on mobile and desktop devices alike a particular attraction. A wave of Flash to HTML5 conversion is the next logical step, as the latter is becoming a crucial Internet building block.
Google makes its choice
A recent The Next Web piece focused on a Google initiative that shows just how far HTML5 has come. The source noted that Google is now presenting ad content in HTML5 format even if the original piece came through as Flash. The objective seems to be to ensure the greatest possible number of online viewers will be able to see an ad. Flash's status as an optional plugin instead of a built-in browser component has caught up with it: Hardware, especially mobile devices and Apple computers, is shipping without Flash. Now, Google is setting out to circumvent it.
Ads are the monetary lifeblood of companies operating online. Having campaigns not reach their targeted customers is a failure for the company distributing them, and Google has decided to take matters into its own hands when it comes to distributing ads through its popular platform. As BetaNews pointed out, this is a heavily focused effort to include consumers working with browsers that lack the Flash plugin or browsing from mobile devices. While some of Google's ad customers may still be creating in Flash, the tech giant is looking beyond it.
The Next Web indicated that in Google's decision to present ad content in HTML5 format, there are echoes of what recently happened to YouTube's default browser settings. The popular streaming channel, owned by Google, now shows HTML5 videos by default, whereas before it used Flash. The Web appears to be standardizing the way rich information is displayed, and unsurprisingly, the more compatible model is the one that has won over the gatekeepers.
The official standard
The recent indications that online giants are ready to embrace HTML5 as their online language of choice could be closely tied to the certification of an official HTML5 standard. As InfoWorld reported when the decision was announced this past October, W3C's decision to declare the language finalized is a confidence-booster. Individuals and corporations now know just what HTML5 brings, capability-wise, and browser developers have a list of features they should include when determining compatibility. As Google has shown with its YouTube and ad platform decisions, businesses intending to get their messages in front of the masses can now default to a standard that works where plugins aren't present.