Google on March 1 agreed to acquire Web-based photo-editing specialist Picnik for an undisclosed sum, acquiring yet another startup created by a fomer Google employee.
The Web is full of photo-sharing tools and destinations, including Google’s own Picasa Web albums, Flickr, Photobucket and Facebook. However, while these photo-sharing sites are Web-based, photo editing is mostly done with client applications users must purchase and/or download to their computers.
Picnik, which lets users import their photos from Picasa Web Albums, Flickr and the other aforementioned sites and make changes to them, is one of the first sites to bring photo editing to the cloud, said Brian Axe, product management director at Google.
“Using Picnik, you can crop, do touch-ups and add cool effects to your photos, all without leaving your Web browser,” Axe wrote on the Google blog.
Picnik is similarly very excited about the deal:
“What does this mean for Picnik?” in a blog post March 1. “It means we can think BIG. Google processes petabytes of data every day, and with their worldwide infrastructure and world-class team, it is truly the best home we could have found. Under the Google roof we’ll reach more people than ever before, impacting more lives and making more photos more awesome.”
Axe added that Google is not announcing any major changes immediately upon the close of the acquisition.
This means the millions of Picnik users can still log on to their account and access their settings. Picnik is still free, though users may still purchase premium features, such as more collages, history and connections, for a few dollars more.
Google plans to continue support all existing Picnik partners so that users will still be able to add their photos from other photo sharing sites, make edits in the cloud and then save and publish them.
He did say Google will integrate Picnik within Google, (likely with Picasa somehow) and add new features in the future. Picnic boasts 20 employees, who will join Google’s Seattle offices.
One of these new employees is Picnik CEO Jonathan Sposato, who joined the Picnik team after selling his company Phatbits to Google. Phatbits went on to be the uberpopular Google Gadgets.
The last four Google acquisitions involved companies helmed by former Google employees, part of an unofficial spin-in strategy. These companies include mobile e-mail search provider reMail, social search engine Aardvark and real-time collaboration player AppJet.