Rewind time to just a few years ago, and Adobe’s Flash Player was ubiquitous. Online games, video sharing platforms, GIFs, and so much more, as long as playing web media was concerned, had to use Flash to some degree. But as the web matured, new technologies came along, and by comparison, Flash Player seemed outdated. Worse, it was riddled to no end with security flaws.

Its antiquated service enabled us to enjoy online media for just around 20 years. Now, Adobe’s once-beloved Flash Player is due for an end-of-life protocol. The final release came on December 8th, and Adobe will formally stop supporting Flash by December 31st, 2020. Once the clocks rolled over to January 12th, 2021, Flash-reliant content will be blocked from showing up altogether.

How Did We Get Here?

Adobe saw this one coming a while ago and announced the discontinuation of its Flash Player tool back in July 2017. But even before then, major platforms were rapidly ditching Flash for sleeker, faster, and more modern media protocols. That’s especially so with universal, powerful, and highly configurable standards such as HTML5 exists. Adobe themselves praised WebGL and WebAssembly.

The first nail on the coffin was hammered in as far back as 2008. Back then, Apple decided to bar the use of Flash on its iPhones and iPads. Years later, in 2015, YouTube cast Flash aside for HTML5. Now, Adobe recommends that all users uninstall Flash Player, as it’s no longer supported. Furthermore, security experts say that simply leaving Flash installed, even if left dormant, can present risks.