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Adobe Goes Viral With Flash Platform Services

To give Flash application developers more insight into how their apps are being used, Adobe is rolling out new services to make Flash apps more social and measurable.

Adobe on Monday unveiled a new service to help Web publishers promote the social and viral distribution of Flash applications on the Web, desktop computers, and mobile devices.

At the IAB Mix Conference and Expo, an interactive advertising show, the company announced the availability of Adobe Flash Platform Services, a way for Flash developers to enable sharing and collaboration in their applications and to facilitate application distribution, tracking, and monetization.

Flash Platform Services has three primary components: Distribution, Collaboration, and Social.

Gigya, a social media management platform, has partnered with Adobe for the service.

Over 98% of Internet connected PCs have Adobe's Flash software installed, but Adobe itself acknowledges that "it can be difficult to get users to install" applications.

Adobe Flash Platform Services aims to overcome this obstacle by leveraging the willingness of Internet and mobile phone users to install and use applications shared by friends.

The service also aims to make Flash application metrics more meaningful by providing traditional analytics -- measuring visits, for example -- alongside social media analytics -- measuring friend-to-friend interactions like "viral grabs" and "stickiness."

"We provide a rich set of analytics that helps both publisher and advertiser determine how successful they have been," explained Adrian Ludwig, group manager of Flash platform product marketing at Adobe, in a phone interview.

For developers, Adobe Flash Platform Services provides a way to write one application that can be deployed, eventually, on over 70 social networks and services. The Social component of the service is being made available later this year and will initially support connections to Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and Yahoo.

The Collaboration component provides a way for Flex developers to add real-time social capabilities like real-time file sharing, chat, VoIP audio and Webcam conferencing to their applications.

The Distribution component allows developers to send Flash applications to mobile devices, in addition to social network and desktop distribution. The service allows application publishers to send text messages with links that automatically deliver a platform-appropriate mobile application on Windows Mobile, Symbian S60, and iPhone devices.

Since Apple's iPhone doesn't support Flash at the moment, iPhone distribution consists of text message with an iTunes app store link to an Apple-sanctioned iPhone app.

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