Twitch Drops its Flash Viewer for HTML5

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Twitch Drops its Flash Viewer for HTML5

You might have heard recently that Mozilla and Google actually dropped support for Flash from their Firefox and Chrome browsers. This isn't great news for Flash, which had already been taking it on the chin for some time as far back as when Steve Jobs gave it a metaphorical working-over. But Twitch has joined a host of other firms pulling support for Flash and putting that support behind HTML5 instead.

Twitch, owned by Amazon, is rolling out controls with an HTML5 basis on what's described as a gradual basis. Right now, it's mostly focused on the video player's controls, but it's likely to carry on from there. The video--as Twitch explained in a recent blog post--is still Flash-based, but with the controls making the shift, it's likely that the whole thing will be HTML5 before too much longer. Indeed, the Twitch blog post noted that this should be regarded as "...an important step to releasing the much-anticipated full HTML5 player."

With Mozilla and Google pulling support, with Steve Jobs raining scorn on the platform, and even Facebook's new chief security officer challenging Adobe to set an "end of life date" for Flash, it's not surprising to see Twitch joining in the fray.

Even if it weren't an increasingly popular move, there'd still be plenty of reason for Twitch to make the jump away from Flash to HTML5. Twitch needs to keep users happy in order to keep its prominent position as a game streaming platform, so to make the jump to HTML5, which will likely behave better and offer a better overall experience for users should be a move well received. Throw in the clear benefits to mobile users--which are likely a pretty substantial part of the equation for Twitch--and the reasoning behind the move to HTML5 only makes more sense. After all, it's been suggested more than once that Flash has some negative impacts to system performance and battery life alike, and for mobile devices, that's a direct impact on just how much video can be consumed in the first place.

Twitch moving to HTML5 seems to be one of those moves with really only upside potential. Sticking with Flash in the face of Google and Mozilla's support pull doesn't seem like it'd be a particularly good idea, and making the move to HTML5 might incur a bit of expense, but should pay off in terms of user experience and sheer good will. This is likely just one move among many that's likely coming up, and Flash's days appear to be somewhat numbered.


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