Google has seemingly put the final nail in the coffin for Adobe Flash, the once-popular video and animation player that's become less relevant as newer web standards like HTML5 have taken over.
The company announced on Monday that its search engine will stop supporting Flash later this year, and that it will ignore Flash content in websites that contain it. The search engine will also stop indexing SWF files, the file format for media played through the Flash Player. Google noted that most users and websites won't see any impact from this change.
The move has been a long time coming for Flash. Adobe announced in 2017 that it was planning to end-of-life Flash by ceasing to update and distribute it at the end of 2020, and Flash is already disabled in Chrome by default. When it made the announcement, Adobe said it was working with partners like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and Mozilla to smoothly phase out Flash.
Flash was once a critical technology that enabled content creators to easily implement media, animations, and games in their websites during the earlier days of the web. If you frequently played online games in your web browser in the early 2000s, you'll probably remember that Flash plugin was a necessity.
But as new web standards like HTML5 and WebGL have risen in popularity, there became less of a need for Flash. Plus, as time went on, Flash became more prone to security concerns — including one vulnerability highlighted by security blog Naked Security which surfaced last year that would have made it possible for hackers to execute malicious code via a Flash file.