Issuu may be the newest major innovation in digital publishing. The platform has grown immensely since its establishment in 2006, especially within the last decade after moving its headquarters to Palo Alto in California. Issuu began as a start-up in Denmark before becoming, by its own claim, the industry-leading digital publishing platform. The platform has other offices in Denmark, Portugal, and Germany as well.
In September of 2021, Issuu received $31M from Capital IP as financing. Capital IP is an “investment firm focused exclusively on providing innovative financing solutions to emerging and transformative technology companies.” Capital IP believes Issuu is worth investing in which, if their growth in digital sales or monthly page views mean anything, is definitely the case. The platform boasts, as of 2021, over four billion page views monthly. In 2020, Issuu’s growth in digital sales equals 840% growth, primarily due to independent creators.
Issuu is a digital publishing platform available for free to anyone wishing to publish their content digitally in an accessible, easy way. Medium, when describing Issuu, indicates that they are most widely known for their digitally published magazines. However, Issuu offers a variety of services for its users to take advantage of. These include digitally publishing articles, flipbooks, social media posts, videos, and gifs. They also offer numerous features to aid in the digital publishing process such as adding links, embedding publications, collaboration technology, statistics, etc.
Not every feature Issuu provides is available for free, however. The platform offers different plans depending on the company or individual’s needs. The free plan offers the ability to digitally publish articles, gifs, videos, and flip books. It also provides features such as using provided flipbook templates, sharing your unique content through links or by ordering print copies, creating a public profile page where you can manage your stacks (like bookshelves) and others can see all your content in a single place, seeing 30-day statistics, uploading files from other websites such as Canva, etc. That is a lot of features available with the basic, free plan, but of course paid plans will provide even further aid to those wishing to publish digitally.
Besides the free plan, Issuu offers three paid plans: Starter, Premium, and Optimum. These plans offer different amalgamations of features on them such as further customization options, further content creation options, more options for customer support, etc. However, collaborative technology allows Issuu to offer two plans specifically for teams. The plans vary in features that companies can take utilize such as multiple workspaces and seats for employees, a dedicated customer success manager, custom training, and some others.
Issuu’s free plan provides a great opportunity for nonprofits or new companies to create content to be digitally published at a low cost (free). Nonprofits often deal with the problems of few staff and limited funds so the free option of digital publishing for their content to be advertised and distributed is a great option. Nonprofits can also benefit from Issuu’s paid plans if they’d like some of their content to be monetized for fundraising purposes. Also, a nonprofit organization can benefit from Issuu’s paid team plans which would allow multiple people from the nonprofit to work on their publication simultaneously.
An aspect of Issuu that is discussed on multiple sites is their user-friendliness. Many first-time users of the website found the site easy to navigate, utilize, and export from. Ease-of-use is extremely important for a digital publishing website claiming to allow customers the ability to digitally publish their content themselves through its technology. Issuu’s relevance as a digital publishing platform has become greater in more recent years as technology advanced and reliance on the Internet with its many benefits increased. With Issuu’s relevance being greater, more users will likely seek to use the platform as the concept of digital publishing grows wider, meaning the platform’s user-friendliness will be even more essential as individuals with little-to-no training in digital publishing will be using the site.
Issuu may be a new name to many as digital publishing as a concept is relatively novel as well. However, Issuu as a platform for digital publishing will likely become larger as many seek to publish their content digitally. The site fills a gap in terms of accessibility. Digital publishing as a concept gives the impression that publishing one’s own content would be easier than taking a traditional publishing route, but many are still left unsure of how to go about publishing content digitally. Issuu provides an easy platform to publish content digitally whether it be videos, newsletters, magazines, gifs, or flip books. Hopefully, this article succeeds in providing an overview of Issuu and how it can be utilized by many.