Adobe to offer free-to-use version of Photoshop ‘freemium’

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Adobe has confirmed offering a free-to-use version of Photoshop on the web and plans. The service is open to everyone to introduce more users to the app.

The company has now administered testing of the free version in Canada, where users will access Photoshop on the web through a free Adobe account.

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Adobe calls the services “freemium” and eventually plans to gate off some features that will be exclusive to paying subscribers. Free tools will be freely available to perform what Adobe considers to be Photoshop’s core functions.

Maria Yap, Adobe’s VP of digital imaging, said, “We want to make Photoshop more accessible and easier for more people to try it out and experience the product.”

Instead, Adobe framed it primarily as a collaboration tool, a way for an artist to share an image with others and have them jump in, leave some annotations and make a couple of small tweaks, and hand it back over.

In the months since Adobe has made a handful of updates to the service, and it’s also started to open it up beyond collaboration use cases. Before, someone had to share a document to the web from the desktop app, but now, any Photoshop subscriber can log in and start a new document straight from the web.

Adobe’s goal is to use the web version of Photoshop to make the app more accessible and potentially hook users who’ll want to pay for the full version down the road. The company has taken a similar route with a number of its mobile apps, including Fresco and Express.

The web version of Photoshop is a particularly important offering since it opens one of the company’s most powerful tools up to Chromebooks, which are widely used in schools.

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“I want to see Photoshop meet users where they’re at now,” Yap says. “You don’t need a high-end machine to come into Photoshop.”

 

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