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Unveiling the new Canva Developers Platform

We’re incredibly excited to announce Canva’s new home for developers, with the Canva Apps SDK now available for anyone to use, and our first REST APIs arriving later this year.

At Canva, we’ve always been on a mission to empower the world to design by providing our community with tools that unlock possibilities and supercharge creativity. We can’t do this alone, and over the last year we’ve partnered with a select group of developer partners to help build the future of apps on Canva. As we continue to grow, a key next step in our vision to empower the world to design is making it seamless for developers to build on Canva.

Last week, we were thrilled to host our first-ever developers conference, Canva Extend(opens in a new tab or window), where we launched our new developers platform - including the Canva Apps SDK, now accessible to all developers worldwide, and unveiled Canva Connect APIs, which arrive later this year. We also announced our $50 million commitment to our first-ever Canva Developers Innovation Fund to accelerate the growth of the Canva Apps Marketplace and bring innovative new apps to our global community.

Create Canva Apps with ease

Following a successful nine-month beta (and much anticipation from our 11,000-person waitlist!), the Canva Apps SDK (Software Development Kit) is now available for anyone to develop or integrate their apps into Canva. The Starter Kit allows developers to get their first app up and running in minutes, then expand on it with purpose-built Canva Apps APIs that enable you to fetch, add content, edit the design, authenticate users, and provide data. These APIs can be combined in endless ways to produce a variety of design and design-adjacent apps.

Quote card from Anwar Haneef, Head of Ecosystem at Canva saying we're thrilled about the momentum gained from working with our beta partners to streamline app creation in Canva. By opening our design engine to a wider community of developers, we're enabling instant distribution of their apps and services to millions of people on Canva, and tap into the valuable feedback and creativity of our community.

We refined our apps throughout the beta program to create the fastest, most intuitive app-building experience possible so we can bring new creative solutions to our community at scale. The following APIs are now available for our entire developer community to use:

  • Asset: Upload media to a user’s media library with the Asset API for a fast, efficient experience.
  • Data: Use the Data API to become a data source and make importing data seamless.
  • Design: Build new design tools that add content to a design, read and edit what's already there, or let your users export and publish their designs to complete an end-to-end content management flow.
  • Fetch: Send HTTP requests to a third-party server with this multi-purpose web API for tasks like integrating with external services and offloading tasks to a server.
  • User: Bridge the gap with the User API to keep your app secure and allow users to authenticate via your platform.

Coming soon: Canva Connect APIs

We can’t wait to see the success of Canva Apps SDK and continue to make progress in this space. Our first REST APIs, Canva Connect APIs, will launch later this year, letting you seamlessly connect any app with Canva to sync designs, assets, and comments across platforms. Not only will these APIs simplify and automate workflows, but you’ll be able to integrate existing files into Canva and edit them straight away – a major step forward in our vision of creating a completely end-to-end visual communication tool. The waitlist for the Canva Connect APIs is now open, and you can register here(opens in a new tab or window).

Why develop with Canva?

Whether you want to build an idea from the code up or connect your brand to a new audience, Canva Apps SDK gives you the opportunity to put your app in the hands of the 135 million people using Canva around the world. Powered by our new APIs, developers can now utilize and build securely in Canva to supercharge our community’s design experience, increase productivity, and simplify workflows.

With a wide range of products within one easy-to-use platform, Canva has everything you need to create visual content. From a range of magic tools(opens in a new tab or window) to a Visual Suite(opens in a new tab or window) including Docs(opens in a new tab or window), Presentations(opens in a new tab or window), Video(opens in a new tab or window) and Websites(opens in a new tab or window), millions of people from around the globe have been empowered to design anything. We know our growing community loves to use Canva, and by building a Canva App, you can meet them where they are, and open up even more opportunities.

We know the magic happens when you can focus on building the best possible product, rather than worrying about seeking funding or building an audience. That’s why we’re proud to be committing $50 million to our first-ever Canva Developers Innovation Fund to invest in creative, innovative app developers to bring game-changing technology to our global marketplace. Our goal is to accelerate growth and adoption of apps on Canva, and this fund will support app developers who are aligned with our mission to empower the world to design.

Creating equal opportunity is something we’re mindful of in everything we do, which is why this fund will be open to everyone around the world, empowering developers who are underrepresented in the global market. Canva Apps expand our community’s possibilities and make them a reality – and we see our developer community playing a key role in the future of Canva.

The growing appetite for apps

Over the past few years, the Canva Apps(opens in a new tab or window) Marketplace has played a significant role in empowering our community to do more with Canva, with some of our most popular features first being introduced in Canva as apps.

Take Background Remover(opens in a new tab or window) for example: first introduced in Canva in 2019 by Kaleido, the team behind the popular one-click background removal tool, Background Remover took a traditionally tedious task and made it into an easy, one-click, automated process. Our community loved it, and to date more than 2 billion images and videos have had their background removed in Canva.

Image of a girl in the centre of the image, with half of a street background on the left hand side and no background on the right hand side as the Canva background remover tool has removed it.

What started as an integration that solved a simple but critical design challenge led to some incredible synergies between our team and Kaleido’s products, and we acquired Kaleido in 2021(opens in a new tab or window). Kaleido has been instrumental in expanding our product and AI capabilities, and has demonstrated the endless opportunities of joining forces with incredible developers to bring groundbreaking technology to the Canva platform.

Our AI-powered magic tools have changed the way people design in Canva, and are a huge hit in our community. To date, our Text to Image(opens in a new tab or window) and Magic Edit(opens in a new tab or window) apps have generated more than 200 million unique images, and more than one billion words have been written with our copywriting assistant, Magic Write(opens in a new tab or window). Now, anyone with an idea for an AI-powered or service can put their app into the hands of Canva users, and the Canva community will have access to the latest AI technology, faster.

We value our community’s feedback, and know there are so many more opportunities to be unlocked. We want to equip our users with the tools they need to optimize every part of the creative process – and by building within Canva, you can develop an amazing product, knowing it will go directly to the right people.

New and upcoming Canva Apps

Canva is now home to hundreds of apps, including everything from the ability to create an AI-powered avatar to voice-guiding your presentations – but we know there’s still so much opportunity to put more incredible tools in the hands of our community.

Some of the world's most noteworthy apps are now available in Canva, including:

Quote Card from Joe Hyrkin, CEO at Issuu saying the number of organizations and individuals who use Issuu to transform, host, and share content created in Canva has quadrupled over the past two years. Our new Canva integration simplifies the workflow for creators, and the new Canva API and developer tools make it easier to serve the massive number of joint customers increasingly relying on our two platforms.

We’ve also got many more apps in the pipeline to launch in Canva soon, including everything from convenient access to your Instagram analytics with SwayTribe(opens in a new tab or window), to generating unique audio via AI apps like OctAI(opens in a new tab or window).

Start creating

Simplicity is one of the most important parts of the Canva experience, and our Apps Marketplace is no different. We want apps to be simple to build, discover, and use – and we know there’s so much potential to streamline the design experience for our growing community.

The power is in your hands – help us build the future with Canva Apps SDK today(opens in a new tab or window). Missed Canva Extend and want to know more? Watch the recast here(opens in a new tab or window).

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