FaceBook Video Moves to HTML5 from Flash

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Facebook quietly moved out of the Flash-only camp by adding HTML5 video playback support to its social networking Web site. The move means iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users can watch videos that are included in their friend’s timelines instead of only seeing the familiar missing plug-in icon.

It appears that HTML5 support is available for most new videos, and that many older uploads still rely on Flash.

Facebook’s decision to support HTML5 looks to be only the latest in a growing list of companies that are either adding the open standard to their streaming options, or are dropping Flash support completely. Adobe has been pushing its near-ubiquitous format for online media for some time, and has made it a highlight in its soon to be released Creative Suite 5 application bundles.

Apple, however, has continuously turned away from supporting Flash on its popular iPhone and iPad products, and now on its newly released iPad, to support HTML5 instead.

Adding HTML5 support will likely make at least some mobile Facebook users happy. Adobe, on the other hand, may not be as pleased.

[Thanks to MacStories for the heads up.]

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Comments

Tiger

From Flash to flushed.

geoduck

I think we may be turning the corner from ‘why doesn’t Apple support Flash’ to “why does this site only support Flash’. If things keep going this way in another year Flash AND HTML5 will be standard on most major sites.

The Apple is Doomed For Not Supporting Flash group can go sit in the corner with the Apple is Doomed For Not Supporting Floppies people, right next to the Apple is Doomed For Not Supporting IE group. Come to think of it, we have a bunch of variations on this theme over there.

wink

prl53

Why is Facebook limiting html5 to only mobile devices (or is it?)? Why not make it a Facebook preference and give Mac non-mobile users the ability to decide which format they want.

Lee Dronick

Why is Facebook limiting html5 to only mobile devices (or is it?)? Why not make it a Facebook preference and give Mac non-mobile users the ability to decide which format they want.

Yes, just serve up OSX visitors with HTML5 video. It might not be that simple or course.

Question. Does Windows 7 support HTML5 video? If so then that would also help move websites off of Flash.

H?vard Bartnes

It seems a lot of people forget that Flash is being used for much more than just a video player.

I don’t say that many of the same things aren’t possible using Javascript/HTML5. But there are, of my knowledge, no developer tools for HTML5 that will do what Flash does for animation, drawing and programming.

mithridain

Maybe HTML5 is iPhone OS only because it’s easier to support only one versus supporting multiple browsers on Mac OS X

Lee Dronick

Maybe HTML5 is iPhone OS only because it?s easier to support only one versus supporting multiple browsers on Mac OS X

Try this HTML5 test

xmattingly

It would certainly appear that HTML 5 is growing in favorability for web video. Which is good. Most people don’t need a Humvee to drive across the living room to change the channel.

On another note, Sir Harry I scored 113 out of 160 with Safari 4 (10.6). Anyone else have numbers they’d care to share w/ their browser/platform?

Klausi

Facebook Video+ is just released, now you watch all the Facebook videos. Get it for 99 cents from the AppStore.

Lee Dronick

On another note, Sir Harry I scored 113 out of 160 with Safari 4 (10.6). Anyone else have numbers they?d care to share w/ their browser/platform?

I got 113 on both my iMac and my iPhone. I will test it with my wife’s iBook and with my HP running HP

Lee Dronick

@xmattingly

I booting up my HP so that I can test HTML5 in Explorer. That takes a while so in the meantime check these examples of HTML5 features. Use your keyboard right-arrow to advance

In particular I am impressed with “slide 24” try resizing and rotating the images, then click the Export button. However, there are a number of other impressive slides, try the opacity and color adjustment sliders.

geoduck

Sir Harry. That was seriously impressive. HTML5 rocks!. Plus if it’s that easy to use and has a lower cost of entry than Flash then it’s going to be everywhere. After seeing that I’d be unloading my Adobe stock (if I had any that is).

Lee Dronick

I checked Explorer 8 on that HTML5 test, 19 out of 160.

For the HTML5 example link that I just posted I was prompted to install Google Chrome Frame which I did. However, the page did not open, well it opened, but with errors and no test was available.

When I tried the Windows version of Safari on the HTML5 test I got 115 out of 160, two points better than the Mac version.

Using WIndows Safari with the HTML5 examples worked pretty well. There were small things such as no handles on the photo manipulation, but otherwise it seems about par with the Mac versions.

Lee Dronick

One more HTML5 demo link and then I got run for a while. Try the games.

Sidebar: I found the HTML5 links at DesignBump, one of the RSS feeds I read everyday

geoduck

Try this HTML5 test

Safari 4.0.5 for Mac 113
Opera 10.10 for Mac 38
Firefox 3.6.x for WinXP 101

So far Safari is looking pretty good.

xmattingly

Very cool stuff - thanks for sharing Sir Harry! And interesting to note the scores you got in your browsers, Geoduck. I’m going to have to ask my coworkers - a couple are using versions of Exploder & Firefox in Win7, another is using Firefox on the Mac. Looks like Opera (and Exploder…[cough] ) had better get with the times.

I haven’t dipped much at all into CSS 3 or HTML 5, but there are definitely some interesting funky changes. For example, several of the styles on the slideshow are “webkit-(style)”... you can bet that this is still pretty rudimentary stuff and far from being ratified. It’ll be interesting to see what develops there.

Lee Dronick

For example, several of the styles on the slideshow are ?webkit-(style)?... you can bet that this is still pretty rudimentary stuff and far from being ratified.

Yes, they are still making sausage though it looks some interesting and handy features.

“I haven?t dipped much at all into CSS 3 or HTML 5,”

I still have old new tricks to learn smile

Lee Dronick

My wife’s iBook running Safari 4.0.5 under Leopard gets a score of 115. My Intel iMac running Safari 4.0.5 under Snow Leopard and 113

Catalin

You are missing something here. This is not HTML5, they transcode using H.264 which does the trick. Here is a full review: http://www.thehdstandard.com/social-media/facebook-using-html5-video-on-the-ipad/

Catalin

drclue

@Catalin
“You are missing something here. This is not HTML5, they transcode using H.264 which does the trick.”

Actually most of the video out there is encoded as H.264
anyways , and the H.264 CODEC is supported by several HTML5 browsers.

When folks use Flash to play video , most often the
actual video is in H.264 and just wrapped in Flash.

Flash wraps a couple of other CODECS too, but none of those
is going to be supported by HTML5

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