Adobe acquires Behance to bring more community into Creative Cloud

Adobe announces today it has acquired Behance, a slick service for creative professionals to show off their own work, publish their portfolios, and communicate with one another.

Adobe’s focus over the past year has been squarely on Creative Cloud, its mammoth plan to bring desktop tools like InDesign and Photoshop into the web era — and to bring old-school designers into new skill sets and industries with familiar interfaces.

The addition of Behance adds not just a cool portfolio tool to Adobe’s current offering; it also brings a very modern layer of communication and collaboration into what was once just software running in isolation.

Adobe product marketing director Heidi Voltmer said this deal was designed to bring more community features into Adobe’s Creative Cloud.

“Beyond just portfolios, people can browse around and find inspiration,” Voltmer said in a phone chat with VentureBeat today.

“We have tools, we have services, and if you’ve got all those things, you also need inspiration, you need to get that spark,” Voltmer continued. “By bringing in Behance, we’re rounding out our offering and making this a one-stop destination for creative professionals.”

Also, Behance’s portfolio tools aren’t just static pages locked behind a garden wall. Behance portfolio items and creative projects are embedded all over the place; you can see them on a plethora of sites where creative people go to network professionally and read about industry news, including LinkedIn.

“We’ve talked about this idea of being able to publish everywhere,” said Voltmer, mentioning Adobe’s tools for publishing content to mobile (PhoneGap, a previous acquisition) and for publishing iPad magazines (Single Edition). “And now with Behance, you now also have a place to publish your portfolio out.”

While Adobe is definitely aware of sites like Forrst and Dribbble that focus on inspiration and community around micro-content, Voltmer said, “We’re focused on the larger community that you’d find with Behance.”

She said the service currently claims more than one million users and 34 million project views in the past month alone.

As for changes the service may see over the months to come, Voltmer said, “We’re sorting that out internally. You can look at what we did with the Typekit acquisition last year … We tried to integrate the best of Typekit into Creative Cloud while still maintaining it as its own service. You can expect to see the same with Behance.”

Behance’s headquarters is in SoHo, New York City. All 32 Behance employees will now be working for Adobe. The company took its first institutional funding just a few months ago — $6.5 million led by Union Square with participation from Jeff Bezos, design junkie Dave Morin, and a string of other names from Silicon Valley’s Who’s Who.

“We set out to connect the creative world and maximize the exposure that creatives receive for their work,” said Scott Belsky, co-founder and CEO of Behance in a statement on the news.

“As creatives rely more on the social web for collaboration and opportunity, creative people and teams will benefit from Behance’s community features integrated into the creative process. We’re thrilled to join Adobe and empower creative careers on a global scale.”

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