Canva launched Canva Docs in an open beta today, a cloud-based hybrid of a word processor and publishing tool. In addition, Canva Docs will be adding “Magic Write,” a generative AI copywriting tool.
Interested users can check out the beta here.
Canva’s latest move aims to diversify the company beyond graphic design and into other areas of marketing and communications. The company added Whiteboards in August, which some have compared to Miro. The Canva tool can also be used to create presentations and edit video.
The design platform first announced Docs in September at its inaugural Create conference. Much like competing cloud-based word processors, users across teams can collaborate on documents in real-time. There are also many functional templates available in Canva Docs, allowing users to create everything from resumes to menus.
But the buzzy announcement today is the addition of a generative AI copywriting tool, “Magic Write,” to Docs.
Magic Write utilizes OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model to generate content based on a user’s prompt, capable of generating social media posts, blog posts and press releases, among other assets.
In a demonstration, Jen Thompson, Product Marketing Group Lead at Canva, created ideas for World Cup-themed blog posts and even wrote a paragraph about my home state of California in seconds using the technology.
“Magic Write in some ways is comparable to design templates. You don’t have to struggle with something that conceptually might be really challenging for you,” she tells me.
But don’t expect this technology to write your college entrance essay and get you into an Ivy League school. While OpenAI’s GPT-3 technology is robust, it still lacks the quality of a professional copywriter. Magic Write is intended to give users a creative starting point in lieu of a blank page.
Regular Canva users can use Magic Write for free up to 25 times, but Pro and Teams users will have access to additional queries.
Even though Magic Write’s capabilities aren’t unique, as many players have access to OpenAI’s technology, Canva has over 110 monthly users who can request access.
The addition of “Magic Write” is just another way Canva is democratizing access to a skillset that customers may not have, Cameron Adams, Canva co-founder and chief product officer, tells me.
“We have a value here at Canva of making complex things simple. The beauty in that is that as you make things simpler, it enables people to do more of it.”
AI powers many of Canva’s popular features, including image background removal, which has been used nearly a billion times, according to Adams. Canva eventually acquired the company powering the technology, Kaleido, last year. The company added generative AI image search last month, which is powered by Stable Diffusion.
Adams said that Canva is working closely with OpenAI to figure out the capabilities of GPT-3, as well as the limitations of the model.
“Together, we’ve been working in particular on things like trust and safety and the ethical use of AI,” he said.
“We’re really committed to shaping the technology that powers not only Magic Write but also Text to Image in ways that suit the needs of our 110 million monthly users and doing so in a safe and ethical way.”