The social media network that survived the MySpace age with relatively few changes will soon be getting a makeover thanks to new ownership. On Wednesday, the web design platform Wix acquired DeviantArt, a social network for designers and artists.
Despite turning 17 years old later this year and boasting 40 million registered members, DeviantArt co-founder and CEO Angelo Sotira said that the company lacked the resources to launch the features they wanted to bring to the art community.
“With the addition of the resources, skill, innovation, and energy of Wix,” Sotira wrote in a statement, “our community can and will explode even faster than it has in the past, and we will become more inspired, magnetic, and audacious than ever before. The collective, universal understanding of what DeviantArt is and how it operates won’t be lost. We’ll just be able to do it a lot more efficiently, with the resources, staff, and data-driven know-how to best serve each and every member of our community like never before.”
Sotira says that the changes will include both ones already discussed within the community as well as a few “exciting ones you never expected.” Much of the DeviantArt’s design has stayed the same over the years, but the acquisition by a web design company is likely to change that. Wix says that new tools that help the platform’s creative community create and showcase their work online will be coming as a result of the acquisition.
For Wix, the change bumps up the company’s expected revenue by about $8 million. The change will also give Wix users access to the community of artists — but DeviantArt clarifies that the copyright policy is not changing and that any future opportunity to license art through the Wix platform will be optional. Wix says that both platforms share a vision for giving designers and artists a platform to showcase their work.
“Over its 16-year history, DeviantArt has built an impressive online community that is incredibly loyal, highly engaged, and regularly produces stunning art and design,” Avishai Abrahami, Co-founder and CEO of Wix, said in a press release. “The DeviantArt community is talented and robust and hungry for additional product expertise. We understand their passion, share their creative vision and are excited to offer the power of the Wix platform to their millions of artists.”
Wix, which reached over 100 million users earlier this month, paid $36 million in cash for DeviantArt. While Wix plans to spend more to update both the desktop and mobile apps, the company is still expecting an increase in revenue. The plans also include integrating both programs.
All DeviantArt staff will remain and Sotira will join the Wix management team.
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