Adobe’s Elements 10 zooms in on mobility, social networking

Adobe Systems Inc. is marking the 10th birthday of its Photoshop Elements product line by zooming in on social networking and mobility in the latest upgrade of the photo and video editing software.

Photoshop Elements 10 photo editing software gives users the ability to tag photos based on their Facebook friends list, integrating photo editing with social networking. Similarly, users can upload finished video projectsdirectly to Facebook and YouTube with Adobe’s new Premiere Elements 10 video editing software.

“(Adobe)recognizes there have to be sharing and… social aspects to theirconsumer imaging strategy. So it’s no mystery they’d be adding thesekinds of tags and hooks and the likes to their products. It really hasbecome now one of those things that, rightly or wrongly, are obligatoryin these sorts of products,” says Jay Vleeschhouwer, a software analyst at Griffin Securities Inc. in New York.
 
Adobeis also tapping into the mobile device market, noting in its launchrelease that Elements 10 is designed so developers can createtablet and other mobile apps for on-the-go use of the PhotoshopElements 10 product lines. It follows the trend of consumers usingvarious mobile devices and technologies, not just traditional cameras,to shoot, edit and share photos or video.

A 2010 British survey by rightmobilephone.co.uk(a site that compares mobile phone plans and prices) found that half ofthose polled did not own a digital camera; 79 per cent of thoserespondents said they use their mobile phone for taking picturesinstead. In a 2007 study by Nokia Corp., 44 per cent of camera phone owners surveyed said they use their cell phone as their main digital camera.   

“The world is much more connected. All our customers are starting toget more devices. They have a PC but they also probably have asmartphone. They may even have a tablet in the mix, multiple devices.All these devices are quite capable of dealing with their images andtheir video, and having all these devices connected together is veryimportant,” says Bob Gager, Elements group product manager atAdobe.

Adobeis also using the Elements 10 launch to drive customers to ElementsPlus, its online service that includes 20GB of storage for sharing andautomatic backup, which works out to up to 15,000 photos or four hoursof DVD quality video. Elements Plus also includes access to Adobe’slibrary of tutorials, artwork, templates, movie theme songs andeffects.

Online services like Elements Plus are part ofAdobe’s effort to expand beyond imaging software to open up newrecurring revenue streams for the company.

“Much of (Adobe’s) competition consists of online photo storage or in some cases print services,”Vleeschhouwer says. “Adobe is moving more in the direction ofcomplementing its software business with services, not only forconsumers but also for enterprise, having nothing to do with familypictures. (It’s part of a) much larger and interesting effort aroundsupplementing its larger commercial software business with services.”

Vleeschhouwerwrites about Adobe’s move toward mobile and online services in a recentresearch note on the company’s new Carousel photo app for viewing,sharing, processing and editing photos on all iOS mobile devices.

“Evena relatively small adoption and renewal rate in the addressable market(the millions of iPad and Mac users in the case of Carousel)…there is the potential for adding low-to-mid-eight figures of revenue or morewhich, collectively, would add points to [Adobe’s] corporate growth inthe coming years,” he writes in the Sept. 8 note.

In the way of imaging andediting improvements, Elements 10 comes with 30 new Smart Brush visualeffects that can be applied to photos by simply selecting orhighlighting areas of a picture. For video aficionados, PremiereElements 10 has tools to correct visual clarity and colour in a moviewith just one click.

Both Elements 10 and Premiere Elements 10 are equipped with new search and organizing tools.By simply drawing a box around an object in a photo, Object Search canfind other photos containing the same object based on their visualcontent.

Photoshop Elements 10 and Premiere Elements 10 areavailable together as a bundle for a suggested retail price of $149.99for first-time users or $119.99 for past users of any earlier version.

Adobeposted third-quarter earnings of $195.1 million or 39 cents per shareon Tuesday, down from $230.1 million or 44 cents per share a yearearlier. Excluding some costs, Q3 profit was 55 cents a share, toppingthe 54 cents estimated by analysts. Adobe stock closed at $24.64 onNasdaq Tuesday, down from a closing price of $25.27 on Monday. But theshares were trending higher in early after hours Nasdaq trading (5 p.m.ET) after Tuesday’s earnings release.

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