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’s like Canva’s rules.
This simple, free design software now has over 100 million monthly active users. For comparison, that’s almost 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 made design tools easily accessible to everyone. In its first year, it had over 750,000 users. It offers a set of free templates for creating presentations, posters, social media graphics, documents, and all kinds of visual content. Of course, you can also pay and use Canva Pro and Canva for Enterprise, which give you access to many more templates, graphics, fonts, and more. In 2021, Canva even launched a video editing tool, so it offers even more possibilities.
“We are extremely proud to mark this milestone in our mission to empower the world to design,” said Melanie Perkins, co-founder and CEO of Canva.
“Visual communication is now more important than ever. Our continued growth demonstrates the huge demand for a collaborative, simple, all-in-one platform that empowers all kinds of teams, in all kinds of workplaces, to unleash their creativity and achieve their goals without complexity.
As for Adobe Creative Cloud, the number of monthly active users was estimated at 26 million in December last year. This, of course, takes paying users into account, as Adobe only offers a paid subscription for programs such as Photoshop, Lightroom and others. But last year, Adobe also launched its own version of Canva called Adobe Express. It’s free for Adobe CC subscribers, but you have to pay $10 per month to access it and use all of its features.
What makes Canva so popular?
Canva says this massive growth is because the software is so easy to use. And honestly, I tend to agree and I think that’s the major factor in its popularity. What I also find interesting is that I often hear about Canva through word of mouth. Many of my friends have told me about it over the years, and none of them are photographers or designers. In fact, as I write this, a friend of mine sends me his resume which he made with, you guessed it – Canva.
The thing about Canva is that it is indeed very easy to use. This means anyone can create visual content without paying a designer. And no, it won’t leave designers out of work, but tools like Canva come in handy for a variety of other life situations. Maybe you need to do something quickly. You need to make a resume and you need layout inspiration (like my friend mentioned above). Maybe you’ve just started your small business and just can’t afford a designer yet… You name it.
Why not Adobe Express, you might be wondering? After all, it’s just as 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 to use Adobe Express. I think that’s the main obstacle, at least for now.