Scribd Dropping Adobe Flash for HTML5

Online electronic publisher Scribd began transitioning away from Adobe’s Flash on Thursday in favor of HTML5. The company has already converted about 200,000 documents from Flash into HTML5 in anticipation of today’s rollout, and will continue working on transitioning the millions of documents in its online collection, according to Techcrunch.

“We are scrapping three years of Flash development and betting the company on HTML5 because we believe HTML5 is a dramatically better reading experience than Flash,” said Scribd co-founder and CTO Jared Friedman Now any document can become a Web page.”

The change means any device that supports the HTML5 specification can view Scribd documents. Previously, documents were visibly only on Flash-enabled devices, cutting out all smartphones along with Apple’s new iPad.

Moving to HTML5 also means Scribd users won’t be forced to view documents inside a Flash window. “Right now the document is in a box — a Youtube-type of experience. There is a bunch of content and a bunch of stuff around it,” Mr. Friedman said. “In the new experience we are taking the content out of the box.”

Once converted to HTML5, documents will be able to take advantage of the specification’s font, rotating text and vector graphic features and the formatting control those features offer.

While the announcement is good news for potential Scribd users that want to view documents on devices that don’t support Flash, it’s bad news for Adobe. Regardless of whether or not Scribd thinks Flash is a viable option, throwing its support behind HTML5 looks like yet another no-confidence vote against Adobe’s multimedia platform.