Adobe continues social push, acquires mobile app agency

Adobe acquired Thumb Labs, the New York-based creator of Behance, a platform it bought last year

Adobe has acquired Thumb Labs, a small mobile app agency, as part of its broader push to give its new cloud-enabled software offerings a more social flavor.

Thumb Labs, based in New York, posted a message on its website and Twitter feed on Thursday saying the firm had accepted an offer to become part of Adobe. The company said it will fulfill its existing contracts and begin its new role at the end of the month. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Adobe began a major shift last year with the launch of Creative Cloud, part of a transition from being a traditional software house to becoming a creator of cloud-based, collaborative platforms with online components. This month, the company said it was moving away from boxed software sales all together, to a subscription-based model based on the cloud service.

A major part of the Creative Cloud platform is a social layer that allows customers to share their portfolios online. Adobe acquired social platform designers Behance in December as part of its efforts to make its cloud service "the ultimate hub for creatives worldwide." Thumb Labs built the mobile app for Behance; a message posted Thumb Labs' website said, "We are looking forward to contributing to these efforts, as Behance's vibrant community becomes more deeply integrated into Adobe's tools."

The move to Adobe's cloud platform and a subscription-based service has irked some users of its products, which include Photoshop and Acrobat. The company has said it will support older versions of its software, but new features will only come to its cloud-based products.

Adobe's cloud subscription includes the ability to sync design elements like colors and fonts, online storage and collaboration, and training resources.

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Tags mobileMergers and acquisitionsbusiness issuesadobemobile applications

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Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
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