Behance bought by Adobe: designers react

In a move that's set to divide creative opinion, Adobe has bought Behance - the portfolio service for designers.

Adobe has bought the designer portfolio service Behance

No stranger to acquiring services designers love - having bought Typekit and Nitobi (creator of Phonegap) in October of last year - Adobe has done it again, and this time gone a step further by bagging the web's best-loved portfolio service for designers: Behance.

Scott Belsky, the Behance founder, announced the deal on his Twitter feed:

Behance had 90 million views last month, and recently raised $6.5 million of funding, and - according to The Next Web - the Behance team will join Adobe as part of the acquisition.

Behance team is thrilled. Are you?

In a statement on the Behance website, the Behance team announced that: "Our team is thrilled to join Adobe and take Behance to the next level."

Behance will be integrated into Adobe's Creative Cloud - a web-based subscription model for tools and services - and it will be interesting to see how the free service is developed, and whether Adobe continues to operate it as a standalone product.

Here we provide the breaking reaction of designers around the world:

And here's what Computer Arts magazine's Rob Carney has to say about the move ...

Rob Carney from Computer Arts

So, Adobe has acquired Behance. It's kind of surprising but not exactly a shock. Acquisition has been a major strategy for Adobe over the last year – picking up almost any company that will boost its Creative Cloud, and indeed social marketing offerings. But Behance is different. While you could argue that like Typekit (acquired earlier this year) Behance is a service, it's more than that. It's a community. And a massive one at that. And communities are where big companies usually struggle. It's much easier to engage with an audience when you're NOT trying to sell them something – rather offering a free service that, at the end of the day, enables them to make money (in Behance's case through showcasing portfolios to potential clients).

It's rumoured that Adobe paid over $100 million for Behance. That's a lot of cash, but for Adobe, the acquisition of Behance plugs a gap in its services. As Behance points out on its blog post community is the key, and its an engaged community that Adobe can try to keep excited about its products.

Will it be reputable?

For sure, Behance has got a lot of credibility and is used across the world by art directors and creative commissioners looking for talent, but with Adobe behind it, will it be as reputable; as respected; as used? It may not matter to most, but for others the Adobe ownership may be a sticking point.

In terms of functionality – will we see the ability to upload work directly from applications/Creative Cloud to Behance? Well, that's what this blog post suggests. Also, it shares that Behance's Prosite will become a part of Creative Cloud for paid up members. Certainly a boon for those already signed up to the service.

What Adobe does with Behance will be interesting – and closely monitored. It's of course a fantastic acquisition – for both parties – but whether Behance loses its credibility as a true independent platform for creative professionals? Well, we'll have to wait and see.

We'll be adding to this post as more designer reaction/analysis is posted online ...

What do you think about Adobe's latest purchase? Post in our comments!