Google Poaches Flickr’s Photo Editor by Acquiring Picnik: It’s ON! (But Not Really)


According to a blog post from Picnik, Google has today finalized the purchase of the online photo-editing startup. There’s no word on the exact terms of the acquisition, but judging from the enthusiasm positively bursting from this interview with Picnik’s chief executive, it worked out to a pretty tidy sum for Picnik’s 20 employees.

It’s also got some interesting implications for Google and online photo services as a whole, because Picnik (no relation to the similarly-spelled weekly Canadian electronica island rave party), though it’s service-agnostic, is perhaps best known as the default photo editor for Yahoo’s tremendously successful Flickr. It hasn’t yet been used in Google’s excellent but underused competitor, Picasa, but we can certainly expect some integration in the near future. The only worrying aspect: will Google’s purchase of Picnik restrict the service to only Google properties?

Remarkably, no. Quoth the Google:

We believe that openness is always the best approach and will allow
third-party sites to continue to integrate with Picnik. People should
be able to pull photos from other photo sharing sites, make edits with
Picnik and save to whatever site they choose.

That means they won’t actively kill Picnik’s compatibility with Flickr–great news for those accustomed to the very well-regarded photo editor. It’s also great news for Picasa users, who’ve been lacking a solid cloud-based photo editor. This is just a happy deal for everyone.

[Via Picnik]