DeviantArt, the online creative community, has been acquired by Wix for $36 million, reports TechCrunch. DeviantArt will continue to operate as a standalone company, and will put investments into building out desktop and mobile apps.
In a blog post, DeviantArt CEO Angelo Sotira said joining Wix will allow its members to access the site builder’s tools to help boost artists’ online presence and get their work featured in more places. Those places can include, of course, Wix.com itself, if the artists agree to license their work. “Deviants continue to own their own works,” Sotira wrote. “In the future, there's a possibility Wix might provide opportunities for you to license your work — only if you want to — to more people around the world.”
If, like me, you haven’t been to DeviantArt dot com in a while, much of the site looks largely similar to when it first launched in 2000, bar a new company logo that unveiled in 2014. It still features an army-green layout with skeuomorphic buttons, and a Myspace-like comment wall where other users can leave shoutouts and compliments on your profile. It also kept the blog feature which, nowadays, is used more widely as an update or a work spotlight tool rather than a straight-up journal. TL;DR it’s easy to see why there will be a focus on refreshing the UX.
DeviantArt currently has more than 40 million registered users (minus one, as I’ve just deleted my 2004 nostalgia-ridden comic art and the cringe-inducing journal entries that came with them). The acquisition comes after Wix president told Reuters that the company is attempting to lure in paid subscribers by creating niche products geared toward creatives, such as photographers and musicians.