Twitch begins shift from Flash to HTML5 with closed beta

It feels like we keep saying it year after year, but Flash’s days really are numbered — and one of the largest Flash video streaming sites on the web, Twitch, is about to hit the button and switch to HTML5. But first: a beta!

News that Twitch would be running an HTML5 player beta actually came out back in June, but today the program has actually gone live for the site’s “Turbo” subscribers. Other randomly selected users will see the option to switch off Flash later in the summer.

The slow rollout is necessary, Twitch wrote back in June and reiterated today, because this isn’t a beta in name only — the HTML5 player isn’t ready for prime time. There are bugs, issues with ads, and so on.

The benefits should be worth waiting for, though: faster load times, less CPU load, and fewer frame drops.

If you’re a regular Twitch user, keep an eye out for the alert that HTML5 is enabled on your account, and if you’re a subscriber, let us know how the new player works!