I have had a lot of requests to cover the recent Cricut drama. If you own a Cricut cutting machine you probably already know about what happened. If not just stick around and I’ll tell you all about it. As a lover of all things Cricut and an affiliate of their products I thought I’d cover this topic more in depth.
The news that Cricut came out with in early March was both shocking and upsetting to tons of loyal users.
In this post I am going to give you the timeline of gut wrenching events and the ultimate outcome. First let’s discuss what Cricut users love about their machines which made this announcement so impactful.
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Small Businesses Built With The Help of Cricut Machines
Hundreds upon thousands of small businesses are using Cricut machines to provide quality products to consumers. From t-shirt designs to decals. Businesses use Cricut cutting machines to make and sell products every single day.
While they appear expensive at first glance, these machines can make up for their cost in no time with the right marketing strategy and product to sell.
All users have to do is purchase and register their machine.
With Cricut Design Space, you can download any SVG cut file, JPG, or PNG image and use it to cut and design pretty much anything your heart desires.
So what happened to worry and even anger small business owners who use Cricut to sustain their business?
Cricut Made a Huge Announcement on March 12, 2021
On March 12, 2021 the devastating news came to Cricut’s loyal users. An announcement was made via the official Cricut website blog. The announcement stated the following:
“soon we will be making changes that affect members who use the free Design Space app without a Cricut Access plan. Every calendar month, these members will be allowed to upload up to 20 personal images and/or patterns. Members with a paid Cricut Access plan will have unlimited uploads.” – Cricut
What did this really mean?
To loyal Cricut based small businesses this meant their businesses were going to be charged a monthly fee in order to continue as usual.
For the average Cricut user this meant they were going to be charged a monthly fee. Even just for the most casual use of their Cricut machine if they exceeded 20 image uploads or more.
Almost immediately after this news hit the internet, people were furious. For good reason too! A luxury that many loyal Cricut users had enjoyed for YEARS was literally being dismantled before their eyes.
Businesses who relied on their Cricut for profit were going to have to pay a fee if they wanted to continue their regular use. They were not happy.
Many of the users took to Reddit and Twitter to unleash their distaste for the announcement.
Here are just a handful of responses. I’ve marked out names and explicit language.
Now it should be 100% apparent that people were very VERY unhappy with Cricut’s decision.
Cricut’s Failed Attempt To Make It Better March 16, 2021
After hearing the disappointed words and explicit language of the community, Cricut made a failed attempt to make things better on March 16th with another blog announcement.
This time they decided that they would throw a band aid to it’s current users, but basically dishearten those that would join later.
The announcement this time stated that they would continue to allow an unlimited number of personal image uploads. But ONLY for members with a Cricut account activated before Dec 31, 2021.
Okay…so what about the members who join after that? Well…they of course would be charged the fee to upload personal images to design space.
This of course caused further outrage to Cricut users. This obviously wasn’t the resolution they were looking for.
At this point many users were completely over it and ready to switch to one of Cricut’s competitors, Silouette.
Here’s a glance at more social media outrage.
Cricut Was Under Severe Pressure
By now the damage was done and many users were either completely ready to jump ship or already did. Many of those considering on buying a Cricut opted not to out of disgust.
So what was Cricut’s next bold move going to be? At this point they had outraged their entire community, potentially ruined small business models, and disheartened those who were going to buy Cricut products in the future.
Cricut Gives A Breath of Fresh Air to The Community March 18, 2021
The next Cricut blog post was a new announcement. This time the community backlash had apparently been enough to reach Cricut’s CEO Ashish Arora.
A new announcement was made on March 18th, 2021. Cricut reversed all of its future plans to charge its users for uploads.
Now going forward Cricut promised to allow every member new or old to have unlimited personal image uploads on design space for free with no further intention to change the policy.
This meant that Cricut Access subscriptions would remain an add-on but not required.
For Many Users This Move Came Too Late
While this Cricut drama unfolded in a matter of days, for some the response was much too late. Many users had already labelled Cricut a greedy money hungry company.
Plenty of the Cricut community moved on. Some even sold their Cricut cutting machines or purchased alternative cutting machines.
Silhouette, one of Cricut’s biggest competitors saw a spike in interest and sales.
The hashtag #boycottCricut grew in popularity on social media.
Cricut Attempts To Make Amends
While the announcement hit users like a ton of bricks, Cricut did it’s absolute best to right the wrong they had inflicted.
CEO Ashish Arora goes on to address the entire Cricut community.
In a statement by the CEO she admits: “Not every decision we make is perfect, but we take every opportunity to learn and get better.”
While some users were still notably angry, others were happy with the new decision and glad that Cricut cared enough to have a change of heart.
What Are Cricut’s Plans Going Forward?
Since the drama, Cricut has clearly grown an appreciation for their community and taken them into consideration at every new step.
While it is still too early to tell what will happen down the line, it appears that Cricut is attempting to please its users by listening to them.
Cricut also unveiled new features for Design Space to help better the platform that so many use. These features were in the plans all along so it’s hard to say if it was meant to appease users when they made the dreaded initial announcement.
My Personal Thoughts
Just like everyone else I was devastated by the first announcement. I think that Cricut had no idea how big of a deal this would be to its members.
I think it was one of those business decisions that probably looked good on paper and for the numbers, but had not been mulled over to consider the community reaction.
I do however have respect for a company that openly admits a mistake they made and promptly addresses it. If they had moved forward with the decision I think I would have a totally different opinion.
As someone who uses their Cricut regularly I am glad they opted to listen to the community and I do hope they will keep us all in consideration going forward.
I think Cricut has a lot to bring to the table for crafters and they are capable of being so innovative. All we can do now is wait for their next move.
If I had to guess, I don’t think Cricut will be announcing anything too crazy for a while.
I hope this clears things up for those of you who were wondering what all the hubbub was about.
I really never thought I would be using the word hubbub to describe any situation, but it felt appropriate in this instance.
Feel free to leave comments with your thoughts on the matter. Do you use Cricut products to make crafts or have you considered it?
How does this situation make you feel about Cricut?