deliberate acquisition of collaboration software program maker Figma has sparked concern amongst its tightknit neighborhood of customers.
After Adobe introduced it could purchase the corporate for $20 billion in money and inventory final week, Figma customers stated they’re frightened about potential pricing modifications and a slowdown in innovation on the platform. Some in contrast it to Adobe’s acquisition of Macromedia in 2005, which finally resulted within the discontinuation of among the web-development software program supplier’s key merchandise.
“I think people are a bit worried that Figma might go the same way,” stated Tadhg McCarthy, chief design officer at digital product consulting agency Elsewhen.
Figma has a loyal buyer base of digital creators that appreciates its value accessibility, the tempo at which it rolls out new options and the way responsive it’s to neighborhood suggestions. Figma’s starter plan is free to make use of. In many cases, customers converted to it from Adobe merchandise for these causes.
Figma and Adobe, which is thought for merchandise like Photoshop and Illustrator, stated they plan to maintain these parts and permit Figma to proceed working autonomously underneath the deal. Both firms stated they’re conscious of consumer considerations and hope they’ll show them fallacious within the coming months and years.
“The first impression was probably apprehension,” stated Elsewhen’s Mr. McCarthy, “and just concern that we’ll end up with a tool that takes on the same speed and the same kind of bloat as we were used to back when Adobe was the tool of choice.”
Elsewhen stated it began utilizing Figma in 2019, and since then it has develop into the collaborative hub of your complete firm, changing numerous present instruments.
The concern is “not necessarily that it’s going to get worse, it’s that it’s just not going to get better anymore,” Mr. McCarthy stated. He added that when Adobe acquired Macromedia, these instruments, whereas not excellent, have been nonetheless innovating. That innovation stalled submit acquisition and among the instruments, together with Flash, have been finally discontinued.
chief product officer of Adobe Creative Cloud, stated the corporate is proudly owning the truth that there are issues it has and hasn’t executed properly associated to earlier acquisitions. While the Macromedia deal was practically 20 years in the past, Mr. Belsky pointed to more moderen acquisitions, reminiscent of Behance and Frame.io, which might be nonetheless alive and thriving.
Chris Marsh, analysis director at S&P Global Market Intelligence, stated that customers’ considerations, whereas legitimate given Adobe’s historical past, are in all probability somewhat overblown. He added that Adobe has sufficient sense to not do what it has executed with earlier acquisitions, partly due to the huge price ticket.
“You wouldn’t acquire a competitor for $20 billion just to essentially not have that competitor anymore,” Mr. Marsh stated.
Figma stated it has hosted city halls on Twitter geared toward addressing among the neighborhood considerations across the acquisition. Since final week, the social media website has develop into a preferred discussion board for Figma customers to voice their worries.
“I saw quite a few concerns that the prices are gonna be raised,” stated Stewart Scott-Curran, the senior director of name at video-messaging firm Loom, a Figma buyer. He added, although, that “there’s probably some wiggle room to bring the prices up a little bit and still have it be a very accessible price point.”
Mr. McCarthy stated that Elsewhen pays three to 4 occasions extra for Adobe merchandise than it does for Figma merchandise. Currently the corporate has two Adobe licenses and 49 Figma licenses, he stated.
If Figma value factors approached among the present value factors for Adobe merchandise, “our costs would go through the roof,” stated Mr. McCarthy.
“Recognizing that we are in an unpredictable, inflationary environment, we currently have no plan to change Figma’s pricing,” a Figma spokesperson stated.
According to Fons Mans, a designer primarily based within the Netherlands, “People are mostly afraid to lose that community aspect.” He stated that there are examples of different Adobe acquisitions, together with Behance, the place the neighborhood slowly grew to become much less lively.
“People are afraid that the same is bound to happen with Figma,” he stated.
Both Adobe and Figma stated that the sturdy neighborhood aspect is a part of what made Figma so beneficial and engaging to Adobe and so they hope it will possibly stay.
“I do think that we can continue to have this amazing community, but I think it’s something that we have to prove,” stated Yuhki Yamashita, Figma’s chief product officer. “Now is our time to show them.”
Write to Isabelle Bousquette at [email protected]
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