Google – A Nice Place For a Picnik

Alan Bullock
Mar 2, 2010

Yesterday, Google announced its acquisition of Picnik, the online photo editor. Established in 2005, Picnik is a powerful Flash-based in-browser editing suite for photos that are already online, with tools well beyond the standard zoom/crop and rotate functions offered by most online photo services.

In addition to its own site, where users can edit photos from and save them back to several open-API photo sites, Picnik offers integration of its editing tools into third-party sites, and is the featured photo editor for Flickr, Yahoo! Mail, Phanfare, and American Greetings’ PhotoWorks users.

According to the official Google Photos Blog, they will be “working hard on integration and new features.” Translation: expect to see Picnik’s editing tools in Google’s Picasa Web Albums soon. (Currently, the only available editing option is the Picasa desktop application, the very download-edit-upload exercise that Picnik sought to avoid when it was developed.)

Longer term, I would not be surprised to see Picnik become part of the Android operating system, allowing Google and thousands of third-party application developers to make photo editing an essential part of the user experience on a host of mobile devices and connected appliances.

The Google blog also says that they would “like to continue supporting all existing Picnik partners”, but Yahoo! may find the new in-laws a bit awkward, and might already be scrambling for a new editing solution for Flickr and Yahoo! Mail.

Congratulations to the Picnik team, a true Web 2.0 success story.

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