Autodesk, makers of design and animation software (AutoCAD, Inventor, Maya) announced they have purchased Socialcam for $60 million. Socialcam, a mobile social video application for iPhone and Android, enables users to capture and easily share video to social networks. Socialcam will operate out of the Consumer Products Group of Autodesk.
For Autodesk, it’s about bringing design tools to the masses. Last year Autodesk purchased the do-it-yourself community website, Instructables, as well as the photo editing and sharing service, Pixlr. They have embraced mobile in a considerable way with over a dozen apps for Apple’s App Store and the Android Market, covering productivity (ForceEffect), creativity (SketchBook Pro), games (TinkerBox) and entertainment (Fluid FX).
While these products do not produce a lot of revenue for Autodesk, they do succeed in building their user base, democratizing design, and introducing consumers to the Autodesk brand, many for the first time. Autodesk CEO Carl Bass, said “In less than two years, we got 75 million people using our consumer 3-D software,” In professional software, he said, “it took us 35 years to reach 12 million customers.” If anything, Autodesk is learning to place emphasis on the collaborative capabilities of design at all levels. It remains to be seen if their foray into consumerism ultimately affects their bottom line.
Author: Jeff Mazzone