What’s a Flash® Profile?

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Flash® profiles on MySpace use Flash® technology to create animated and dynamic profiles. They rely on Adobe® Flash® to embed Shockwave® Flash® movies and Flash® video files. Flash® allows for editing of profile elements, including personal pictures and music players. While more aesthetically pleasing, they take longer to load and can have navigation issues. Flash® software and codes are free, and professional web designers can offer templates for public use.

A Flash® profile is a MySpace profile that uses Flash® technology. By default, MySpace uses Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML) to display profiles. Members can also use cascading style sheets (CSS) to customize their profiles. However, Flash® offers members the option of a more animated and dynamic profile that can distinguish itself from static, standard HTML or CSS.

Flash® profiles rely on Adobe® Flash® to function. Flash® embeds Shockwave® Flash® movies with the .swf file extension and Flash® video files with the .flv file extension in players so your design can come alive and appear to be in motion right before your eyes. Both of these elements can provide the backbone for any Flash® profile.

Virtually any profile element can be edited using Flash®. Various miscellaneous elements such as Flash® banners, countdown charts, calendars, clocks, and glitter text can be incorporated into a Flash® profile. However, one of the most popular applications of Flash® involves members’ personal pictures. Members can choose to use Flash® to view a dynamic slideshow of images; text and graphics can be added to images to organize and captions for the profile owner or viewer. Flash® music players are also very common on MySpace because they allow members to embed a long list of songs into a player without having to worry about MySpace’s default song limit limits.

Using Flash® in a MySpace profile can result in a more attractive and professional looking profile. They are popular with everyone from first-time teenagers simply interested in expressing themselves to professionals who use MySpace to help with marketing their businesses. However, while a Flash® profile may be more aesthetically pleasing to the average MySpace member, there are some drawbacks to using Flash®. For example, a Flash® profile takes much longer to load than its HTML or CSS counterparts and can sometimes have navigation issues. Those who want to convey information simply and effectively are best suited to layouts using simple HTML or CSS.

Flash® software and codes are generally available free of charge to the public. Full profile templates can also be designed and offered as ready to use. Professional web designers and Flash® developers can design templates and offer them to the public as long as they are accredited as a designer or developer. In this way, the work required to create a Flash® profile can be recognized as that of an individual designer or developer, while still being appreciated by the public.

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