The whiteboard wars: Miro and Figma want to make meetings better

Miro and Figma separately launched features on Tuesday aimed at improving collaboration on their platforms.

Figma and Miro logos

Whiteboard rivals Miro and Figma each released collaboration improvements.

Logos: Figma and Miro

We expect a lot from our productivity tools these days. You can't just stroll over to your team members' desks and show them what you're working on anymore. Most of those interactions need to happen online, and it's even better if the work and the communication can happen in one place. Miro and Figma — competitors in the collaborative whiteboard space — understand how critical remote collaboration is, and are both working to up their meeting game.

This week, both platforms announced features aimed at improving the collaboration experience, each vying to be the home base for teams to work and hang out together. Figma announced updates to its multiplayer whiteboard FigJam, and Miro announced a new set of tools that it's calling Miro Smart Meetings. Figma's goal is to make FigJam more customizable and accessible for everyone; Miro wants to be the best place for content-centered, professional meetings. They both want to be the go-to hub for teams looking to get stuff done.

The timing of the announcements is rather funny, considering the two are pretty competitive. Figma has a whole page on their site directly comparing Miro to FigJam. Their pricing approach is different, with Miro currently focusing more on paid plans and Figma focusing on broad access. FigJam is free in beta right now, and will stay free within the starter plan. When it leaves beta in February 2022, it will cost $3 per editor each month on its professional plan and $5 per editor each month on its organization plan. Both paid plans have unlimited shared whiteboards, but the organizational plan offers private plug-ins and more advanced security. Miro Smart Meetings is currently available in beta for all paid and education plans, and will remain available to these plan holders when it leaves beta later this year or early 2022.

"We always encourage new developments in the digital whiteboard industry because it signals a growing appetite for new ways to connect and collaborate," said Miro CPO Varun Parmar, referencing FigJam.

FigJam launched back in April 2021, signifying Figma's ambitions to be the best place for collaboration, not solely a place for designers. Figma CEO Dylan Field said since then, Figma has realized people are using the FigJam product in totally different ways. "We got a lot of longtail requests in terms of what people want to see in a whiteboard space," Field said. "It turns out people use spaces in so many different ways. So how do you make it so you can accommodate all these different uses?"

The answer: Release more widgets and plug-ins so users can adapt their workspace. Over the summer, Figma worked with developers on building widgets for polling, drawing from data tables and tic-tac-toe, among others. They partnered with companies like Donut, which contributed an icebreaker widget, and Vimeo, which is working on allowing screen capture within a Figma file.

Miro's fundamental mission is to provide a space for engaging and meaningful meetings, Parmar said. This is the goal behind Miro Smart Meetings, which includes an array of meeting templates with contributions from companies like Dropbox, Deloitte and Salesforce. Other tools are automated meeting outlines based on the content on your Miro board, and customizable meeting settings.

Miro announced Smart Meetings and other developments at its user conference, Distributed. It also announced beta tools coming in November, including a "clustering" function that sorts through a team's sticky-note responses and groups them by similarity. Parmar said making meetings fun was another priority, which is why Miro Smart Meetings includes the ability to add reactions and stickers to items on the board. "It brings a little bit of joy and smile and playfulness when you're in meetings that are pretty intense, when you're trying to discuss things that might be contentious," Parmar said.

Miro and Figma also both want to make it easier for those without accounts to enter their meeting spaces. The barrier of creating an account or installing software can be a deterrent to using certain productivity tools — we want to use collaboration tools without forcing clients or team members to download them. Miro Consultant and Business customers are now able to invite an unlimited number of guests to their Miro boards. For its part, Figma launched Open sessions, allowing those without a FigJam account to join their session for up to 24 hours before they need to restart another open session.

Field hopes teams large and small will flock to FigJam, and Parmar hopes Miro Smart Meetings helps organizations nail remote meetings. As Figma and Miro fine-tune their attempts to become meeting hubs in addition to whiteboard apps, it remains to be seen whether one of them will become the go-to option for "content-centric" meetings or if we'll just keep downloading new productivity apps for the rest of our lives.


Google is wooing a coalition of civil rights allies. It’s working.

The tech giant is adept at winning friends even when it’s not trying to immediately influence people.

A map display of Washington lines the floor next to the elevators at the Google office in Washington, D.C.

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

As Google has faced intensifying pressure from policymakers in recent years, it’s founded trade associations, hired a roster of former top government officials and sometimes spent more than $20 million annually on federal lobbying.

But the company has also become famous in Washington for nurturing less clearly mercenary ties. It has long funded the work of laissez-faire economists who now defend it against antitrust charges, for instance. It’s making inroads with traditional business associations that once pummeled it on policy, and also supports think tanks and advocacy groups.

Keep Reading Show less
Ben Brody

Ben Brody (@ BenBrodyDC) is a senior reporter at Protocol focusing on how Congress, courts and agencies affect the online world we live in. He formerly covered tech policy and lobbying (including antitrust, Section 230 and privacy) at Bloomberg News, where he previously reported on the influence industry, government ethics and the 2016 presidential election. Before that, Ben covered business news at CNNMoney and AdAge, and all manner of stories in and around New York. He still loves appearing on the New York news radio he grew up with.

Sustainability. It can be a charged word in the context of blockchain and crypto – whether from outsiders with a limited view of the technology or from insiders using it for competitive advantage. But as a CEO in the industry, I don’t think either of those approaches helps us move forward. We should all be able to agree that using less energy to get a task done is a good thing and that there is room for improvement in the amount of energy that is consumed to power different blockchain technologies.

So, what if we put the enormous industry talent and minds that have created and developed blockchain to the task of building in a more energy-efficient manner? Can we not just solve the issues but also set the standard for other industries to develop technology in a future-proof way?

Keep Reading Show less
Denelle Dixon, CEO of SDF

Denelle Dixon is CEO and Executive Director of the Stellar Development Foundation, a non-profit using blockchain to unlock economic potential by making money more fluid, markets more open, and people more empowered. Previously, Dixon served as COO of Mozilla. Leading the business, revenue and policy teams, she fought for Net Neutrality and consumer privacy protections and was responsible for commercial partnerships. Denelle also served as general counsel and legal advisor in private equity and technology.


Everything you need to know about tech layoffs and hiring slowdowns

Will tech companies and startups continue to have layoffs?

It’s not just early-stage startups that are feeling the burn.

Photo: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images

What goes up must come down.

High-flying startups with record valuations, huge hiring goals and ambitious expansion plans are now announcing hiring slowdowns, freezes and in some cases widespread layoffs. It’s the dot-com bust all over again — this time, without the cute sock puppet and in the midst of a global pandemic we just can’t seem to shake.

Keep Reading Show less
Nat Rubio-Licht

Nat Rubio-Licht is a Los Angeles-based news writer at Protocol. They graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in newspaper and online journalism in May 2020. Prior to joining the team, they worked at the Los Angeles Business Journal as a technology and aerospace reporter.


Sink into ‘Love, Death & Robots’ and more weekend recs

Don’t know what to do this weekend? We’ve got you covered.

Our favorite picks for your weekend pleasure.

Image: A24; 11 bit studios; Getty Images

We could all use a bit of a break. This weekend we’re diving into Netflix’s beautifully animated sci-fi “Love, Death & Robots,” losing ourselves in surreal “Men” and loving Zelda-like Moonlighter.

Keep Reading Show less
Nick Statt

Nick Statt is Protocol's video game reporter. Prior to joining Protocol, he was news editor at The Verge covering the gaming industry, mobile apps and antitrust out of San Francisco, in addition to managing coverage of Silicon Valley tech giants and startups. He now resides in Rochester, New York, home of the garbage plate and, completely coincidentally, the World Video Game Hall of Fame. He can be reached at


This machine would like to interview you for a job

Companies are embracing automated video interviews to filter through floods of job applicants. But interviews with a computer screen raise big ethical questions and might scare off candidates.

Although automated interview companies claim to reduce bias in hiring, the researchers and advocates who study AI bias are these companies’ most frequent critics.

Photo: Johner Images via Getty Images

Applying for a job these days is starting to feel a lot like online dating. Job-seekers send their resume into portal after portal and a silent abyss waits on the other side.

That abyss is silent for a reason and it has little to do with the still-tight job market or the quality of your particular resume. On the other side of the portal, hiring managers watch the hundreds and even thousands of resumes pile up. It’s an infinite mountain of digital profiles, most of them from people completely unqualified. Going through them all would be a virtually fruitless task.

Keep Reading Show less
Anna Kramer

Anna Kramer is a reporter at Protocol (Twitter: @ anna_c_kramer, email:, where she writes about labor and workplace issues. Prior to joining the team, she covered tech and small business for the San Francisco Chronicle and privacy for Bloomberg Law. She is a recent graduate of Brown University, where she studied International Relations and Arabic and wrote her senior thesis about surveillance tools and technological development in the Middle East.

Latest Stories