After discussing the subject at length with the support, here’s a summary of what Figma allows and doesn’t allow in terms of library sharing (hint: it’s not that simple), and how it could be streamlined:
Currently, as a component library creator, here are the options you have in order to share your library (I will not include the options for a Starter plan, they are legitimately limited)
As a Pro user:
- Publish it and share it within your Team (to users you - or your admin - pays for) using the Team library feature. They can access the component anywhere inside the Team’s files, and get realtime updates. Links are preserved throughout even with multiple files.
- Share it on Community (to users outside your Team): they can duplicate the file to their respective spaces, without live updates. Links won’t be preserved if the library includes multiple files.
- Share it via link (view-only) to selected users: they can either duplicate it (although not as easy as a Community file), or use it as a shared library (it appears in the “Team library” modal) with live update and link preservation ONLY if they are Starter or Pro users (Org users won’t be able to).
- Share it as .fig file to anyone: users won’t get live updates or even see if there’s an update. Links will be broken if the library is composed of several files.
As an Org member:
All of the above except the second part of 3. > Designers within an Org cannot use this share “feature”. And that’s the whole issue.
After clarification with the support, it appears the 3. method of sharing, that resembles how Sketch allows library sharing (across spaces and licences), is more or less accidental. Which is a shame because it’s the most horizontal and powerful.
So, it would be nice to have a supported way of sharing a component library (comprised of one or several linked files):
- As long as you pay for Figma (Pro and Org users)
- To any user (paid, and if possible, free)
- Keeping realtime updates
One way to do it would be allowing live updates on Community files, rather than Duplicate (or both). I love Figma way more than Sketch but the best way to describe it is “Sketch-like”.
Any comment is welcome!