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AMA: Figma's New Pricing Model

2 years ago from , CEO at Figma

https://www.figma.com/pricing

Hey, I’m Dylan, the CEO of Figma. Today, we’re announcing our pricing model (it takes effect July 1st) so we’re hosting an AMA for the design community. We want to make sure the cost structure and transition process are clear, so we’ll be here all day responding to your questions and concerns. You can also check out our pricing page and FAQ.

60 comments

  • Rolando MurilloRolando Murillo, 2 years ago

    You guys are about to democratize design with the free plan. Well done!

    35 points
    • Errol V., 2 years ago

      lets hope the free plan sticks around! Sounds like a its just another way to get more traction by widening the acquisition net!

      4 points
      • Rolando MurilloRolando Murillo, 2 years ago

        Certainly possible.

        Full disclaimer: I don't use Figma, but I do think it is a really powerful tool that is close in performance and features to Sketch.

        Side story because why not:

        In the US paying for software is a lot more socially expected and encouraged than in countries like my native Peru. People there and in other undeveloped countries simply do not see the value in software nor do they earn enough to invest in it. I can imagine free tools appearing more and demonstrating value as the industry itself grows.

        I know it may be a way to gain traction, but I do hope it stays for as long as possible.

        2 points
  • Emanuel SerbanoiuEmanuel Serbanoiu, 2 years ago

    Figma is free for individuals.

    BLESS. YOU.

    18 points
  • Andrew Richardson, 2 years ago

    As someone who struggled with old versions of Adobe software while in school and for a while after because I couldn't afford the monstrous price tag I really appreciate that people will have access to quality software while they are in that phase of their life.

    I was initially a skeptic of Figma when they leaned so heavily on the collaboration aspect of real-time design work (Which is still a bit unrealistic) but the team has won me over with the exceptional speed they are developing and a clear focus on what is needed in the industry (like Team Libraries). Looking forward to what you'll do in the future.

    12 points
  • Wojciech Zieliński, 2 years ago

    Free plan will shake up the game.. at least for beginners. I'm very optimistic.

    6 points
  • Nate vNate v, 2 years ago

    I was looking at tools that were just for commenting and sharing work, and those were like $20+/month/user, so this pricing is very attractive to me.

    Great tool guys, hope this works out well for you.

    5 points
  • Damien Fuentes, 2 years ago

    While I don't disagree with your need to start monetizing. I humbly suggest you revisit your pricing for the paid functions. I would also suggest you go back and conduct some multi-variate testing on pricing.

    Insofar as your web application or SaaS business model suggests, you have a few levers to push and pull when trying to make the transition to that altogether important user-paid model.

    You probably don't know your LTV yet, but at this point, you should be able to start honing your CAC and the channels driving the most signups as well as Churn.

    I see the biggest issue with your new announced pricing as the cost of product either in a MRR assessment or as YRR as not very price-competitive with other tools, such as Sketch plus other online collab/commenting tools (Easier.cc, InVision, Marvel,...). These other tools are, to some extent, more mature, and provide an excellent extended ecosystem. In short, you may consider revising that $12 or $15/mo to $7 or $8/mo with at least 3 team members. Adding additional capabilities that you charge for later. Show your investors that first: you can derive revenue. Second: you can optimize and increase the revenue over time by being a core tool.

    By lowering your price, you'll set a $21 threshhold in MRR and you'll appear competitive against Sketch. You'll entice existing users of AdobeCC to add to their toolset. And you'll make it feel trivial for a small design shops to add clients as (paid) team members on new projects at a higher per person price point (e.g., $12), increasing your incremental revenue at no cost.

    Netsuite's CFO has written extensively about the rationale to license on yearly basis, lowering CAC (unfortunately negatively impacting conversion a bit) with mid-year add-ons at higher cost versus monthly. These are all strategies that lead to an increasing path to profitability.

    Having been at Macromedia during its formative years of Freehand, Dreamweaver, and later building other web-based companies I've seen the impact of decisions like this on the platform (pricing, 3rd party extensions, partner pricing, and channels) increase or diminish the widespread adoption of an otherwise excellent product.

    What were the factors that influenced your decision on the pricing you came up with?

    4 points
    • Claire Butler, 2 years ago

      Hi Damien - thanks for the thoughts. Our aim in releasing pricing is to remain accessible while also creating a sustainable business. We did extensive research with our users before rolling out our model, and so far have gotten strong responses. We will continue to listen to feedback from our users on how they use the product and gain value from it over time.

      2 points
  • Kunal Bhatia, 2 years ago

    Thank you for doing pricing in this way. Very transparent and appreciate you taking the time for the AMA. The free plan will be very attractive for most to consider trying Figma from Sketch. Good luck!

    4 points
  • Benjamin L, 2 years ago

    Can you talk about your infrastructure a bit? Security, data storage, redundancy, etc...

    4 points
    • Dylan Field, 2 years ago

      Hi Benjamin,

      No system is 100% secure, but we practice stringent controls to mitigate risks as best we can. Some of our controls include:

      • 100% of communication over the Internet is encrypted using HTTPS/TLS
      • 100% of Figma application servers use encrypted hard drives
      • 100% of user files stored in Amazon’s S3, redundantly with a 99.999999999% durability SLA
      • CSRF counter-measures for all HTTP RPC methods
      • Production application servers isolated within a private network, inaccessible by the Internet
      • Production SSH keys limited only to trained operations personnel, and regularly rotated
      • Passwords are never stored except if hashed using salted bcrypt
      • Routinely revise, audit, and improve security practices

      Thanks, Dylan

      14 points
  • Mathieu CMathieu C, 2 years ago

    Starter plan is really nice! Thanks

    3 points
  • Travis Ray, 2 years ago

    I'm wondering if there isn't potential for a plan more inline with Sketch? As an individual user who has 0 plans of ever being part of a team environment in Figma, I could just as easily pay 100 bucks and have Sketch, which has all of the same, plus the ability to work offline (I know Figma can do this in a weird sort of way, but I feel like it should function more like Google Drive, where we have an offline version of our directories that sync with a cloud version).

    As it stands, I enjoy having file history and Projects, but I don't need the team implementation.

    3 points
    • Dylan Field, 2 years ago

      Hey Travis, today our product and price are optimized for teams, which is why we're setup this way. Appreciate the feedback and will consider this for a potential future offering, but right now we're focused on teams.

      1 point
  • Cory MalnarickCory Malnarick, 2 years ago

    Pretty competitive, especially given that the collaboration features are built into the system.

    Little personal critique, if you don't mind my being a little snooty – I'd elevate the $15/mo from grayed out to be as visible as the annual cost.

    "12/mo billed annually; 15/mo billed monthly" sorta thing (which is a very competitive price!)

    3 points
  • Chris CChris C, 2 years ago

    I can't decide if I like the way you're showing the actual cost per month if you purchase a full year as the main price instead of just showing the $12/mo - I feel like the latter will be the most used (at least initially). Might be worth testing that with some folks.

    2 points
    • Dylan Field, 2 years ago

      Hey Chris, we tested with a handful of individuals / teams before announcing and the majority seemed more interested in the annual plan, which is why we made that front and center. That said, small sample size, and we will be paying attention to the feedback as it comes in.

      0 points
      • Chris CChris C, 2 years ago

        Nice! I was just thinking back to all the experiences I've had on teams where we wanted to try it out for a while before making a commitment but if the folks you tested with preferred to see that upfront then more power to ya!

        1 point
  • James Young, 2 years ago

    In an Agency-to-client situation where MyAgency wants to manage projects for client A, client B, and client C. I'm assuming the "Team" pricing model will 'just work' and there's no need to hold out for Enterprise unless those extra features are desired - correct?

    2 points
    • Dylan Field, 2 years ago

      Correct. We think the Team plan will be perfect for these situations where you have multiple clients setup as individual projects in your Team space. “Enterprise” will be designed more for larger organizations where there are a lot of teams using the product and there are specific features required to improve how the product is used and deployed. We hope you eventually have that problem ;)

      2 points
  • alfa treze, 2 years ago

    How many teams can you have in each tier?

    1 point
    • Dylan Field, 2 years ago

      Thanks for your question! The tiers are per team. So if you have one team that's just you and another team that has three editors, you will be paying for the team that has three editors.

      2 points
      • alfa treze, 2 years ago

        So in theory i could setup several free teams and have unlimited projects :P

        0 points
        • Michael CookMichael Cook, 2 years ago

          No, any team functionality requires a paid account

          0 points
          • alfa treze, 2 years ago

            Yes but the free tier allows a team of two people. Does that mean that if I have a team account I cannot be invited to another free account for collaboration?

            0 points
            • Dylan Field, 2 years ago

              If you have a team account, you can still be invited to a free account — or an additional team account, for that matter.

              0 points
            • Michael CookMichael Cook, 2 years ago

              Not a 'team', just two people with edit access. There is no shared file space, no team components, no benefits connected to what they define as a 'team'

              0 points
  • Taurean BryantTaurean Bryant, 2 years ago

    Can you help breakdown what the redline features are? I understand that if you're in view-only you can export selection as well as measure the size of selections. What about extract attributes such as font size, color, drop shadows, etc? I can't seem to figure how development would be able to access this information.

    1 point
  • alfa treze, 2 years ago

    I know I probably won't get an answer :D but is there anything in the horizon in the realm of either facilitating the prototyping workflow or adding those capabilities to Figma?

    Examples: - Dropbox export sync; - Invision, marvel, ...: direct import/sync - Embedded prototyping tools.

    Oh the possibilities ;)

    1 point
  • alfa treze, 2 years ago

    Maybe a little off topic. But I have a few issues with the current team libraries. For agency work where we will create new styles and components for each project. Sometimes more than one. Having all our components in a global team library is very constraining.

    What I'd really need is either global (team) libraries, for example for wireframe tools, and project libraries. Otherwise as we grow in projects it quickly becomes unmanageable.

    some categorization and view modes for the libraries will also help a lot.

    It would also be excellent to be able to import libraries. This would provide an amazing way to share reuseable assets. Either internal, external or from commercial outlets.

    I also see a clear possibility to include a store inside figma, adobe is doing this in a somewhat clunky way. But it should always support importing your libs.

    1 point
    • Dylan Field, 2 years ago

      Great feedback; forwarding this on to the team! Thanks!!

      0 points
      • alfa treze, 2 years ago

        Maybe it would be good to revisit some personas and user journeys to account for a wide variety of use cases.

        A nice way to get feedback without going overboard and adding a comment button for everyone. Would be something akin to microsoft's insider program. Where users can opt in and provide ongoing feedback to the product.

        EDIT: Just re-saw... that the feedback button is there already! Ahahah. I even used it once, 32w ago :D.

        1 point
    • Rasmus AnderssonRasmus Andersson, 2 years ago

      Thank you for the feedback. We're working on improving the team library experience with better search and more organizational features.

      1 point
  • alfa treze, 2 years ago

    Just putting it out there ;)... Go for tablet support so I can put my big ipad pro to some serious use. Don't go around thinking you can get away with the half-assed, partly functional, 1.5 amazing build you have now!

    1 point
    • Claire Butler, 2 years ago

      Hi Alfa - we listen a lot to our user requests, and tablet support just hasn't been at the top of the list yet. If and when more people request it, we will consider it :)

      1 point
    • Sarper Erel, 2 years ago

      I was actually considering to buy an iPad pro - assuming that Figma would work there just fine already.

      0 points
      • alfa treze, 2 years ago

        When you open it only allows viewing, which works ok, blur is a little wonky though. If you force desktop mode it is unusable: it's really slow, selecting objects brings up the keyboard, impossible to drag objects. It will probably need a bunch of specific optimizations and fixes for mobile.

        1 point
        • Sarper Erel, 2 years ago

          thanks for a through update! : )

          Basically a tool like sketch-figma is what I am missing to move to an iPad Pro completely. I also don't want any of these advanced fancy features, really. Vanilla Sketch would do just fine.

          0 points
  • Roman Pohorecki, 2 years ago

    https://blog.prototypr.io/5-reasons-why-designers-should-resist-figmas-subscription-model-419b58fee8d2

    1 point
    • Kuldar Kalvik, 2 years ago

      All points, except not owning your files, are pretty nonsense. I get that everybody likes to pay as little as possible, but building a high qualty software takes a ridiculous amount of effort and money.

      I would rather know that the product I use stands on a strong ground, rather than saving few hunderd bucks and have the company go out of business because of an unsustainable business model.

      0 points
      • Roman Pohorecki, 2 years ago

        Wait, Sketch or Designer isn't high quality software that takes a ridiculous amount of effort?

        Software has been sold on a license basis for decades, so it's not exactly unsustainable. It's being invaded by subscription models with snackable prices where you never really own your license, and now you don't really own your files. The fact that I cannot put a .Figma file on my dropbox and send it to a friend is complete deal breaker, and I hope it's unacceptable to the design community.

        0 points
        • Thomas Lowry, 2 years ago

          You raise valid points, but at least Figma is a true cloud-based solution unlike the Adobe CC model, and leverages that to make the collaboration happen as it would in something like Google Docs and without the headaches of version control in the traditional sense. I can adapt to either pricing model, but for me it comes down to the features within the app, the workflow, and the development teams commitment to constantly innovating and adding new features

          Follow Figma's release notes page and see how frequent and significant some of the updates have been. Contrast that with Sketch updates—the last few updates have been a disaster (just look at their Twitter replies), so much so that I now skip the updates until the dust settles and they release fixes. What is your time worth when Sketch is bugging out on you and you are waiting for a fix? The plugin model has its advantages, but I feel like it is hindering the progress of Sketch's native functionality, and some features are pretty weak in Sketch (ex: grids are a good example).

          I feel your article may be little premature since pricing doesn't go into effect until July. There is still lots of time for them to address some of peoples concerns. At least by announcing pricing now, teams who are on the fence due to unknown pricing, can now plan for it. In any case, if you are adamantly against subscription software, then Figma probably isn't for you.

          It is worth mentioning that a Sketch license (to receive updates) is only valid for a year. You can continue using the software, but without release updates. If you want to stay current (and I don’t know why you wouldn’t since there are still many missing features and bugginess in Sketch combined with how fast the UI/UX world, and the workflows are moving)—that is an additional $69USD per year after the initial year (for an individual). So your math isn’t really an apples to apples comparison. If you want to stay current (which you always will be with Figma) your comparison is more like $600 vs $375, not $99. You have to decide whether it is worth the $225 price difference over that 5 years. But also factor in that developer hand-off does not require an additional license, and its looking like it also won’t require another third party tool like Invision Inspect or Zeppelin (so there is potential savings elsewhere).

          0 points
  • Sarper Erel, 2 years ago

    I've always been a bit concerned with the steep jump from 0 to a price/user/month model. I think it's a great choice for your product to have two editors at the $0 plan to promote co-editing/working.

    I also think $12/u/m is fair price but the issue is that the jump from $0 to $36 is usually harder than jumping from $36 to $48 or it is harder for these people who just scaled from two to three than the design teams of five to put out $72 right away.

    0 points
  • alfa treze, 2 years ago

    I actually don't see the price as such a good deal. While its not terrible there are several variables to consider as well as the overall cost. Even just the promotional 10$/mo goes up to 120/yr, which is 20 over what sketch costs. With the benefit that sketch will not stop working.

    What happens to my projects on when they go over the limits? What happens when my subscription ends?

    Also we need to consider features and roadmap, these could be an incentive to subscribe.

    There is also an issue with interoperability, while I can easily edit sketch in many other apps, once my subscrition goes I might have a few issues.

    One big advantage of sketch over figma is plugins and integration with 3rd party prototyping tolls, these could make or break adoption of figma. As it is merely a tool in a workflow and not a complete solution.

    If you do keep the price range and add capabilities for complete prototyping that removes the need for tools like invision or even atomic. Then you just kill it :D.

    While the cloud tools space is increasingly interesting the handoff between them and compounded costs can get a bit scary. Which quickly make and adobe cc subscription suddenly look appealing.

    0 points
    • Thomas Lowry, 2 years ago

      Interesting—the sheer volume of plugins required to extend Sketch is one of the things that I dislike most about Sketch. It's just one more thing I need to stay up to date with. I just want to update Sketch... Most are not integrated very well either. I hope with the cloud-based model that Figma has, they will continue to extend the core-functionality of Figma without relying on outside plugins. My only hope is that if there are things they don't plan to tackle inside of Figma, that they will work at integrations with other tools (like prototyping tools for example).

      6 points
  • Dimitrie Hoekstra, 2 years ago

    Typing this from mobile, so forgive me if I am short on words;)

    Few questions (pricing sounds alright btw) - how will figma incorporate pages like in sketch - will there be folders and sub folders? - team project folders? - setting a folder or team repository publicly viewable (very much want this) - otherwise auto export to git repo? - will figma let unlogged in users inspect other people their designs (with attribute details etc / specs ) - what about plugins ?

    Thanks

    0 points
    • Claire Butler, 2 years ago

      Hi Dimitrie

      To your questions...

      1) No pages right now within files 2) Within teams we do have projects, which can contain multiple files 3) Yes, you can make any file public in share settings 4) Yes, if you make a file publicly viewable, anyone can view it with the link (even if they are logged out). They have to create an account to comment/view specs-- but there are unlimited free users under all plans 5) No update yet on plugins :)

      0 points
  • Fonda LaShay, almost 2 years ago

    As an agency, I would prefer to be able to have one team.. but give access on a project basis not a team basis. For example, we have NDA's that do not allow everyone in the team (company) to see the work, but would allow everyone in that project.

    The only way we see around that is adding multiple teams (per client) to manage that way. Then we would have to limit our editors to the free plan of 2 so we don't pay $15 * 5 teams * 10+ editors. I would much rather pay for this great service by having my whole company in one team vs multiple client based teams. The we could pay $15 @ 10+ people in that one team. Is this the plan for Enterprise?

    0 points