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Only 4.9 percent of today's websites utilize Flash code, a number that has plummeted from a 28.5 percent market share recorded at the start of 2011.

The number, courtesy of web technology survey site W3Techs, confirms Flash's decline, and a reason why Adobe has decided to retire the technology at the end of 2020.

A decline from 28.5 percent to 4.9 percent doesn't look that bad, but we're talking about all Internet sites, not just a small portion of Top 10,000 or Top 1 Million sites.

Taking into account the sheer number of abandoned sites on today's Internet, the decline is quite considerable, and W3Tech's findings confirm similar statistics put out by a Google security engineer in February.

Google has seen a similar decline

Back then, speaking at a security conference in San Diego, Parisa Tabriz, Director of Engineering at Google, said that the percentage of daily Chrome users who've loaded at least one page containing Flash content per day had gone down from around 80 percent in 2014 to under 8 percent in early 2018.

Tabriz, one of the people in charge of Chrome's security, blamed the downfall on the rise of web-based technologies like HTML5 and CSS3, but also on configuration changes made by Chrome and other browsers, which disabled Flash rendering and moved to an "HTML5-by-default" experience.

It was in fact between 2013 and 2014, when Flash lost the biggest chunk of its market share (from 21.1 percent to 12.1 percent), when HTML5 and CSS3 were rolling out.

Historical yearly trends in the usage of client-side programming languages for websites (via W3Techs)
  2011
1 Jan
2012
1 Jan
2013
1 Jan
2014
1 Jan
2015
1 Jan
2016
1 Jan
2017
1 Jan
2018
1 Jan
2018
19 Apr
None 11.0% 8.6% 7.4% 11.2% 11.7% 7.8% 5.5% 5.0% 4.8%
JavaScript 88.4% 91.1% 92.4% 88.6% 88.1% 92.1% 94.4% 94.9% 95.1%
Flash 28.5% 25.6% 21.1% 15.7% 12.1% 9.5% 7.3% 5.5% 4.9%
Silverlight 0.3% 0.3% 0.2% 0.2% 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.1%
Java 0.1% 0.2% 0.2% 0.1% 0.1% <0.1% <0.1% <0.1% <0.1%

With Flash usage numbers going down, by the time the end of 2020 comes around and Adobe stops all Flash support, the technology would be an afterthought for most users, except the few sysadmin souls trapped into supporting the aging tech on desperately outdated corporate networks and apps.

On the client side, browser makers are expected to remove Flash support from their products altogether by the end of 2020 —Flash's end-of-life date.

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