Twitch begins migration to HTML5, dropping Flash

Game broadcasting service Twitch has announced via its blog that it's officially migrating to HTML5 for its videos, and in turn phasing out the Adobe Flash format. The company, owned by Amazon, says not everyone will see the changes as once, as they're rollout the changes to accounts gradually. Once those changes start appearing, users will find the web-based video player has HTML5 and JavaScript-powered controls, instead of the Flash-based ones we're used to.

This move shows a similar path that Google's YouTube took, first testing HTML5 video in 2010, and then making it the default in most cases in 2014, and completely ditching Flash earlier this year. Hopefully it won't take Twitch a full five years to make the video format migration, as HTML5 is now much more common, and others, like YouTube, have already made the transition, but the service will still have to make changes in steps.

This first update only affects the player's controls, while the actual video is still Flash-based. But Twitch says more HTML5 updates are on the way, writing on their blog that this is "an important step to releasing the much-anticipated full HTML5 player."

Twitch's timing couldn't be better, or more supported, after last week's news about the ongoing security holes in Flash. The latest zero-day flaw has renewed calls from security experts, as well as businesses and individuals, for Flash to finally die. And that death may be even closer now, for as another potential nail in its coffin, Mozilla grew tired of the software and blocked all vulnerable versions in its Firefox browser.

With others, like Facebook and now Twitch, either vocalizing their aversion to Flash or taking steps to eliminate it, the time when HTML5 is used for all online video should be almost upon us.