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Figma Acquisition by Adobe in 2022

05
Oct
2022
Figma Acquisition by Adobe in 2022

Over the years, Figma became the go-to tool for digital designers and businesses. It's a design space to share and collaborate among teams to create products from scratch. After Adobe's acquisition, the world questioned what the future would bring. Whispers to know if Adobe would improve or decrease Figma started to take center stage. Is it the end of the platform we know and love? Would this bring future growth and benefits to the design and business world? This blog post will try to answer all the doubts about Adobe's largest merger agreement. Let's determine what the design community should expect from this big announcement.

What is Figma?

Figma Design, a world-class collaboration workflow platform, has changed the landscape for design tools. It covers the same functionalities to create designs but provides more modern and accessible workflows. It helps design stunning interfaces with icons, layouts, or animations. Often, it receives a "familiar" tone because it can develop itself on any platform. Due to its collaboration ability, designers use this cloud-based design tool to make changes. It also allows teams to drag and drop images into documents. At the same time, this interactive Product Design tool has features representing lower costs than other design tools for ongoing business operations.

When Was Figma Founded?

After a challenging stage in 2015, a group of Google developers created the cloud-based designer platform Figma. During that time, the Figma team wanted to build a system that covered what both Photoshop and Sketch did by eliminating the "gap between imagination and reality." They felt there were many things that technology could do. Yet, the design creative tools did not exploit these massive market opportunities. So, they started creating something to make design accessible and faster when nobody could do it. The result of this experiment was the creation of Figma in 2016. Over time, it got more industry positioning, combining quality and accessibility, which eventually resulted in what could be considered the "holy grail" for the design world.

"Going into Figma, I wish I knew more about empowering and managing people. I think the worst kind of “not knowing” is not knowing what you don’t know. It’s quite embarrassing, but I didn’t know that management was a skill back in 2012. It’s a skill that I had to develop over time, and it’s something that I’m still trying very hard to improve on since I definitely can’t call myself a seasoned manager yet." — Dylan Field, CEO, and Co Founder of Figma.

What is Adobe?

On the other hand, Adobe builds software applications through design and imagination. It helps to create digital experience platforms for students, teachers, and designers. Adobe Creative Cloud allows companies to access programs covering all your needs, from logo designing to User Interface (UI) building. All their tools represent an editing key to convert ideas or images into a product to show.

When Was Adobe Founded?

Both former Xerox employees, John Warnock, and Charles Geschke, founded Adobe Inc. in 1982. The project started as a desktop with Postscripts for advertising and visual effects solutions. Initially, it focused on precise positions and shapes. They wanted to expose the potential Adobe has through many features. One was by translating images and text on a computer to print. This feature helped show the world how their technology had something different. They decided on an offer from Xerox since it wanted to explode its potential. Yet, they decided to start their own company, and Adobe started the journey to what we know nowadays. 

Fun fact: David Wadhwani, president of Adobe's Digital Media Business, has been part of the team since 2005, when Adobe acquired Macromedia, Inc., where he was the VP of Product Development.

What are Adobe's Previous Acquisitions?

In the past, the software giant has acquired other platforms like Figma. As a result, its Creative Cloud exponentially increased its potential. One prominent example was Adobe's acquisition of Pagemaker's parent company in 1994. Nowadays, we can see how much it has grown and offers itself as Adobe Acrobat. And, as we know, it provides a world of possibilities for the Design Software market! 

Conversely, the most recognized one was when Adobe bought Photoshop in 1995. It's maybe the best example of how this market leader can create beautiful things by exploding its latent potential. Something similar happened with another of its main products, Adobe Illustrator. Today, its creative cloud can do remarkable things for physical and digital media.

Figma Acquisition by Adobe in 2022

Adobe Acquisition of Figma

The words "adobe figma acquisition" were a shock for many netizens. So, it was no surprise that the creative community raised concerns after Adobe bought Figma. Yet, the reality is wider than only one perspective. This $20 billion acquisition does not only relate to the design field. Further, it's quite the step for the business field. To understand this situation better, let's look at both sides of the Adobe-Figma deal.

1. Design Impact

Designers quickly note that the Adobe Creative Suite is often not accessible. A reason for this, though, was its known lack of collaboration between platforms. This focus left behind the possibility of real-time work, like simultaneous editing, for the creative industry. Nonetheless, the design platform Figma covered these aspects of collaborative features very well. From the start, the platform focused on creating a product for collective use, and its approach helped teams build connections while enhancing collaborative creativity.

Figma created a space for people to design, edit, and comment at a time when no other platform had said feature. As a result, it's today's go-to collaborative design platform, with an outstanding and loyal user base. We can say that Adobe's acquisition aims to create a balance in collaboration. In this sense, Figma erases this barrier and allows users to work with its cloud-based design software. Further, this balance aims to cover both business and designers' needs, enabling time and cost reductions. As a result, both parties can work efficiently to fulfill business outcomes.

"Personally, I would like Figma to keep its platform independent. I fear what Adobe can do and if it turns into bad changes. The only thing I can see as a beneficial fact for its feature is the interaction between Adobe + Figma. Being an example the use of smart objects with the aid of editing them. We can edit them with Photoshop or Illustrator without Figma's vectorial function. I feel it still requires more to be perfect. But, we will have to wait and see how it goes, hoping for the best." — Florencia Ferreiro, UX/UI designer @ Capicua.

2. Business Impact

Tech companies had different reactions to Figma's acquisition. The consensus is that Adobe is not paying to cut Adobe XD's first competition. Instead, its strategy combines the best Product Design capabilities that both Figma and its suite can offer. One of the main reasons behind this thought was Adobe's request to keep Dylan Field, Co Founde and CEO of Figma.

These actions show that Adobe's intentions are broader than design firms think. While it could have changed all of Figma's features, it didn't. Thus, it's worth noticing these first steps are going on the right path for both industry leaders since Figma is still working as it used to. Many companies believe Adobe is impulsing its suite considering companies' and designers' needs. Because of this creative and powerful tool expansion, the merging is a strategic triumph for a better Product Design process.

We can argue that Adobe acquired Figma to cover some aspects it noticed in the market. These aspects gave the possibility to enhance its positioning strategy. For instance, there was a latent desire to speed up top-line growth. Besides, Adobe needed to increase the collaboration system between editing processes. So, being business partners allows them to roll out extra features offered long ago. On top of that, marketing campaigns had a beneficial impact.

3. Worldwide Impact

Once this situation made headlines worldwide, it generated an impact on its own. Moreover, different industries want to know what this change would represent. Since Figma grew up, it has been able to impact the world as no other platform has before. Yet, this impact has more than history has already shown us.

Like with everything, there are two hypothetical scenarios. Some think Figma will not work how it used to due to following Adobe's business model changes. But, others believe these changes can bring benefits for consumers rather than limitations. Both paths made people wonder if Adobe would improve Figma. Nonetheless, the final impact can only be measurable by Adobe's decisions. The future looks optimistic, though. Both companies can take the best parts of businesses and design to surprise the market.

On the contrary, the business world trusts in the features this merging can create. Ventures like Zoom or Coinbase work with all the features Figma provides. Thus, this advance represents new strategic movements for them. For instance, it opens Figma's potential to reach new edges, like 3D design. In this scenario, businesses are not only focusing on possible consequences. Instead, they're looking forward to the collaboration barriers this acquisition can cut. Overall, tech companies are optimistic about creating better user digital experiences. So, this tools' alliance will make meeting the market and users' needs easier. Following this line of thought, not only will businesses achieve better outcomes. Designers will get better work conditions to focus on their remarkable creativity.

1. Designers. They were concerned by the news, mainly because it came with rumors of losing free accessibility to Figma. As a result, the service's costs would limit the access for different groups of designers, especially those starting up in the field. Thus, this action would restrict product design. Yet, Scott Belsky ensured that the acquisition wouldn't change pricing models. Adobe's Chief Product Officer stated that Figma would remain freemium.

2. Companies. A consequence for the business world could be the loss of viability between systems. With this threat, ventures could look for alternatives to meet their needs. As a result, this would affect time and costs, generating problems for any enterprise.

3. Clients. We can say clients will not be directly affected by this acquisition, which means that Figma has a cost that clients do not consider when purchasing a product. The license cost is a play-to-play situation that refers to a transferable fee, working because designers or agencies assume Figma's price to get the tools to work. A higher price will affect how these work, producing them to elevate the costs a client will pay for a product. It is the main consequence a client will experience, not a direct result in general.

Figma Acquisition by Adobe in 2022

Alternatives after Adobe Acquisition of Figma

The most significant part of this situation is its users' concerns. What will happen if this platform becomes paid like other Adobe platforms? It has become one of the reasons why designers and developers reacted badly to this news. As many think, we must clarify that Figma is a paid platform, not a free one where the company or designer must pay to use it, so clients do not get in touch with the impact a higher fee would represent.

Nonetheless, different tools, like Penpot, can cover needs for free if this happens. This platform is a lot like Figma and allows users to collaborate while they design things. It covers all the features Figma has, but the project is still developing and testing. This platform offers features like image sending, receiving, and placing. Further, it can write messages when someone is editing a part of the product.

What Does The Future of Figma Looks Like?

Surprisingly, Adobe acquired Figma and shocked the world. This action generated expectations and predictions from this ultimate decision. At the same time, it is unsure if Figma would be Adobe's ace or an elimination card, meaning many things can occur after making significant changes. Further, this can be a potential improvement or a crash for Adobe's compatibility. They can include new 3D and printing features to upgrade what Figma currently offers.

Additionally, we can predict that Figma will keep working after all the statements. Seeing how Adobe will not overshadow their other platforms to make Figma shine is the thing. This decision can make significant changes for companies. These changes can represent new features and collaboration between systems, so this can be the next business disruption for the tech industry. Yet, only time can tell what will happen in the future so that we can hope for the best.

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Final Thoughts

Overall, Figma's fate is unknown to us as spectators, but a clear fact is its positive impact on the future of creativity. Figma may face a long path toward regulatory approval to follow its model due to Adobe's imposition of conditions. This thought does not mean it will happen. Adobe can handle all the rumors if it combines these two platforms' design knowledge to drive growth opportunities. This mix will erase doubts and show that two minds work more than just one. Figma is a great tool that helps businesses with their goals, as it not only provides a creative space for designers, but it also creates collaboration and strategic initiatives.