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Canva wants to encourage developers to add their apps to the Canva design tool. It is launching a revamped Canva Developers Platform and starting a fund to help developers financially in developing innovative tools useful to the Canva community. The community thus helps determine the direction the design tool takes.

Canva wants to see developers build on its platform. To that end, it is launching a revamped Canva Developer Platform available worldwide. The Canva Apps Software Development Kit (SDK) officially launches on the platform. This comes with a UI library to help developers create a user-friendly interface in the right style. Users can find the developed applications in the Canva Apps Marketplace.

Developers appear all too eager to tinker with the Canva design tool. The Canva Apps SDK test version filled up in no time, leaving more than 11,000 developers hungry for nine months. Now they can play their hearts out on the revamped Canva Developer Platform, along with other interested developers worldwide. This community can also customize each other’s tools, and Canva users can reach out to the community if they need help.

Own apps for 135 million users

Later this year, developers will also be able to integrate standalone apps into the design tool through the Canva Connect APIs. These are REST APIs, which means developers will have no restrictions in the programming language used, for example. Canva has 135 million monthly active users, all of whom developers can reach with their own creations through the announced tools.

The platform is interesting for users, but Canva also gains by having an increasingly powerful design tool. The company will undoubtedly benefit (financially) from this, but is not too shy to give developers something in return. It is setting up a fund worth $50 million. This will support creative and innovative ideas. The support comes in the form of financial resources and expert guidance. Furthermore, the company wants to support underrepresented developers in the global market.

Community gets a say

Canva shows with its Developer Platform that it accepts and hears its users. It wants to be a design tool that gives designers, developers and users the tools they want. Therefore, the online tool may well form itself into a solid competitor to Adobe.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the design tool implements the positive culture from Figma. That platform was also known for its bottom-up strategy and rapid update cycle. With that strategy, the startup grew incredibly fast and quickly became a worthy competitor to Adobe XD.

Last year, Adobe acquired Figma for twenty billion euros. The news upset developers who saw their beloved Figma dissolve into a stagnant, dreamless giant. Canva does appear to like the community’s way of working and is now working that into its own corporate mission.

Tip: ‘EU investigation threatens Adobe takeover of Figma’