Adobe's Acquisition of Figma Raises Concerns for the Future of Both

Adobe's Acquisition of Figma Raises Concerns for the Future of Both

Published: October 05, 2022

Adobe’s acquisition of Figma for $20 billion has sent shockwaves through the world of graphic designers and creatives. Users expressed their worries over the future of the globally-beloved collaboration tool, claiming that Adobe is likely to scrap Figma for parts and do away with the rest of it.

From concerns surrounding the future of Figma to claims of market elimination, the community has met Adobe’s decision to purchase the UI/UX collaborative tool with resentment and displeasure. Users of Adobe XD have voiced their concerns as well, fearing their own software of choice will get the axe and that Figma will take its place entirely.

Figma Users Should Have Little to Fear

While it’s natural for long-time users to dread seeing their favorite tools change hands, especially when industry giants such as Adobe are involved, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that not much should change due to the latest developments.

Dylan Field, the co-founder and CEO of Figma, reassured the users that the world’s number one collaboration tool will retain operational autonomy. He will remain in charge of Figma and report to Adobe president, David Wadhwani. While these things tend to change, it seems unlikely that Adobe would disrupt the creative flow of a tool seeing such rapid growth and expansion as Figma is experiencing.

For the time being, it seems like not much is going to change for loyal Figma users. The pricing model, along with free versions for starter users and educational purposes, are going to remain the same for now.

Part of the community dreads integration with Adobe Creative Cloud, which would significantly alter the payment structure since the Cloud is more expensive and jeopardizes free subscription tiers. However, if the company’s acquisition of Substance 3D earlier this year is anything to go by, there is enough reason to assume Figma will avoid Creative Cloud integration as well, despite becoming a member of the Adobe family.

Adobe's Track Record

Historically, Adobe’s treatment of the latest acquisitions leaves much to be desired. The company stripped Macromedia of some flagship products in a misguided belief that Photoshop could outperform them. It didn’t, and now it’s reason enough to leave some users wondering if the same fate is going to befall Figma. It gives credence to concerned voices saying that Adobe will strip apart Figma, take what’s valuable, and then poorly implement it into Adobe XD.

While Adobe’s track record with new assets isn’t without its flaws and there’s evidence for concerns, this might be taking it too far. It seems unlikely that anything of the sort will happen to Figma. It is arguably the best asset to come into Adobe’s possession, ever. Adobe has much to lose if it squanders the good faith of Figma’s massive user base, not to mention the billions of dollars it paid for the acquisition. The sky-high price alone suggests much grander plans for Figma’s future.

Future of Adobe XD

It’s less clear, though, what happens to Adobe XD. It is a direct competitor to Figma, which is a superior tool in every respect. It doesn’t make sense to keep both UI/UX tools around, and Adobe has a history of canceling its own products to place the new and better asset in the spotlight.

Darren Hood, an experience design manager at Arity, echoes this sentiment:

“Based on this history, we have seen that Adobe is not averse to placing an acquired product on center stage. Between Figma and XD, Figma appears to be more popular. For this reason, I think it would be wise for XD users to get acquainted with Figma.”

It’s too early to tell what exactly will happen exactly, but it seems unlikely that the latest development will spell the end of Figma. As for the rest of Adobe’s lineup, the future is less certain.

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