I believe most of us photographers still use Adobe programs to edit our photos. But when it comes to the general public and people who aren’t into photography and design – it looks like Canva rules.
This free, simple design software now has more than 100 million monthly active users. For comparison, it’s nearly four times more than paying Adobe users. What makes it so popular? I have theories, so let’s explore them together.
Canva was launched in 2013 and it made design tools easily available to anyone. In its first year, it had more than 750,000 users. It offers a bunch of free templates for creating presentations, posters, social media graphics, documents, and all sorts of visual content. Of course, you can also pay and use Canva Pro and Canva for Enterprise, which gives you access to plenty more templates, graphics, fonts, etc. In 2021, Canva even launched a video editing tool, so it offers even more possibilities.
“We’re incredibly proud to mark this milestone moment on our mission to empower the whole world to design,” Said Melanie Perkins, Canva’s co-founder and CEO.
“Visual communication is now more important than ever. Our continued growth demonstrates the huge demand for a collaborative, simple and all-in-one platform that empowers all kinds of teams, in all kinds of workplaces, to unlock their creativity and achieve their goals without complexity.”
As for Adobe Creative Cloud, the number of active monthly users was estimated to be 26 million in December last year. This, of course, accounts for paying users since Adobe only offers a paid subscription for programs like Photoshop, Lightroom, and others. But last year, Adobe also launched its own take on Canva called Adobe Express. It’s free for Adobe CC subscribers, but you need to pay $10 a month to access it and use all of its features.
What makes Canva so popular?
Canva says that this massive growth is due to the fact that the software is very easy to use. And honestly, I tend to agree and I think it is the major factor in its popularity. What I also find interesting is that I’ve heard of Canva many times by the word of mouth. Many of my friends have mentioned it to me over the years, and none of them are neither photographers nor designers. In fact, as I’m writing this, a friend of mine is sending me his CV that he made with, you guessed it – Canva.
The thing about Canva is that, indeed, it is very simple to use. It means that everyone can create visual content without paying a designer. And no, this won’t leave designers without jobs, but tools like Canva are handy for a variety of other life situations. Perhaps you need to make something fast. You need to make a CV and you need inspiration for the layout (like my aforementioned friend). Perhaps you’ve just started your small business and simply can’t afford to pay a designer yet… You name it.
Why not Adobe Express, you may wonder? After all, it’s equally intuitive and simple (I used it to create visuals for this article, by the way). Well, you need to be a paid CC subscriber or pay 10 bucks to use Adobe Express. I think this is the main obstacle, at least for now.