Online presentation tool Prezi, which allows users to combine static images, video and other media in a free-form, scrollable, zoomable and pannable format not bound by traditional single page-based slides, today announced that it has surpassed the 10 million user mark. Alongside its growth milestone, Prezi is also debuting a new tool for importing PowerPoint slideshows for integration into Prezi, a useful step in making converts of users making the leap from traditional desktop presentation software.
Prezi founder and CEO Peter Arvai told BetaKit in an interview that while the tool’s introduction definitely should help it pull in legacy PowerPoint users with lots of accumulated slides to leverage. But the site’s growth curve is already trending upwards, even without additional encouragement.
“I think this growth makes us the fastest growing presentation tool on the market,” Arvai said. “In the last year we’ve more than doubled. I would say that nowadays there’s not a single country that doesn’t have Prezi users. Today, we’re adding one million users per month, with one Prezi being created every second.” The growth is even more impressive because the company has yet to spend any money on buying ads, and is instead still depending on word of mouth and media coverage to spread news of the product. Arvai notes that the growth curve the company is seeing is actually a viral adoption curve, which suggests it may just be at the start of its climb.
Prezi’s approach to presentations is a very different take when compared to other online options like SlideShare, but now that Prezi supports importing PowerPoint slides, which can be set up either creatively or in a way that mimics their more traditional mode of delivery, the two could vie more directly for users. Still, Arvai believes that since Prezi does much more than just mimic desktop presentation tools, it really stands apart in its own category.
“Prezi’s not just being used for presentations, it’s also a colloboration tool,” he offered as an example. “Using avatars to represent where people are working for real-time collaboration, Prezis can have up to 10 people working on one at the same time.”
In fact, Prezi’s path may put it more directly into competition with wiki tools and and other online collaboration platforms that encourage real-time editing in a shared virtual space. But its flexibility may be its biggest strength against those other tools, too, since it becomes not just a presentation tool or a collaboration tool, but an entirely new way of communicating ideas in a new setting that encourages both demonstration and real-time discussion and interaction around ideas being put forward.
Prezi’s growth during the two years since its launch may have been fueled in large part by designers and creative thinkers eagerly embracing a new way to share information that eschews the boring conventions people have become virtually immune to, but its future uptake looks to be powered by new categories of users taking the technology behind it and doing things that exist well beyond the boundaries of the slideshow.