Today, Adobe made a very interesting announcement – Adobe Flash Platform Services for Distribution is available to the public. To put it simple, it’s a new way of distributing, promoting, and measuring the usage of your applications on the Web.
Let’s say you’ve developed a Flash RIA (i.e. a game, a movie promo, a stock-market widget) – now you’ll be able to make it available to other people in a viral fashion over the major social networks. You’ll get an API that will let you add the “Share” button similar to the way you can share the video on Youtube. But this button will allow for cross-network distribution and the user will be presented with a choice of social networks to distribute it to.
Developers get a new API to add this Share functionality to their applications. Adobe will also offer sharing these applications between the mobile devices that support Flash platform. This feature is available for free to anyone. To make it clear, your applications remain hosted on your servers – only an HTML snippet that provides a reference to your applications is distributed.
The publishers who want to promote their product will be able create and run a campaign for a fee targeting specific audiences on the social networks. Say, if you are looking for an application on Facebook, Myspace, iGoogle et al. that explains how to make your belly flat, publishers, who purchased promotions will be able to offer THEIR applications about getting rid of extra fat to large audiences. Adobe promises to be able to deliver tens of thousands of installs of your application this way. An additional benefit is that publisher will be able to simply specify social networks they want to use while ordering their promotion campaigns.
The publishers will be offered rich tools for measuring the success of their distribution campaigns. To me, this immediately explained Adobe’s move to pay a premium for Omniture, the company that is in business of Web analytics and optimization. When I asked Adobe if this new distribution platform and the Omniture announcement are related, they declined to confirm a direct link between the two events stating that the platform is available today, but the deal with Omniture did not go through yet. Oh well, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to put two and two together.
This new way of distribution of Flash based application shows that Adobe is very creative in finding new revenue channels and making Flash Platform very appealing way of distributing applications on the Web and in the mobile space. I know that in the mobile space Adobe is focusing on Windows ME, Symbian S60 (Nokia), and iPhone platforms, but this is all I know. I’m really hoping to hear some major news at the upcoming Adobe MAX conference bringing the latest version of Flash Player to popular mobile devices. But you can use these new distribution services to spread your iPhone applications too.
In my opinion, introduction of this new distribution platform is the most exciting news from Adobe released in 2009.
For more information about distributions services read this.