Adobe Is Acquiring Figma. Why Is Everyone Unhappy?
Adobe, the creator of Adobe Photoshop, is acquiring Figma for 20 billion. But why? And why are the artists unhappy?
Adobe acquiring Figma is “the worst thing that could happen to the UX/Design scene,” according to some
A person outside of the industry might not get what all the fuss is about. Adobe surely knows what it’s doing — after all, it does own Photoshop, Illustrator, and every other leading design tool. And yet, nobody seems to be happy—even the fans of the aforementioned products.
First, let’s clarify that Figma is not like Photoshop or Illustrator. It’s (was?) a direct alternative to Adobe XD, which imitated it a lot. So, one might think the two products will merge. But is it good for the users?
If we look at the initial reaction, it’s very negative. The deal is undoubtedly good for Figma — what startup doesn’t dream of being valued at 20 billion? But Adobe’s business model, especially the steep subscription model, has been causing designers’ wraith for many years. “I feel deeply betrayed. Figma got so successful BECAUSE it wasn’t a part of Adobe’s monopoly,” writes one such user.
It’s not only the fact that you can’t buy Adobe’s products that have been irritating users for years, it’s also the fact that the company’s programs are unwieldy, have a steep learning curve, and are pretty often buggy.
The design market, already quite besieged by Adobe, is looking even more Adobe-centric now. Figma was the leading alternative to Adobe’s collaborative web application, and now who’s left to fight the battle? We can remember Macromedia — a giant that was once Adobe’s main competitor. Guess what happened to it? Adobe bought it.
By this point, everyone seems to be overreacting. We don’t know yet in what direction Figma will be going. Adobe promised the developers a certain degree of freedom, but we know how these promises go. If I were to guess, the most active Adobe haters would start looking for alternatives — preferably open-source. Penpot can expect a big boost, for example.