Google announced yesterday that they have acquired the photo editing site Picnik right from under Yahoo!’s nose, while Yahoo! seems to have done nothing about it!
Picnik allows users to edit and share their photos like several other sites, but what is especially significant about them is the fact that unlike the other sites, users of Picnik do not need to download any special software to edit the photos. They can do so directly in the cloud.
At present, Google will not make any changes to Picnik. The entire team of 20 employees will continue to work for Picnik. They will introduce some new features and integrate the service with Google’s existing products in future. Google may incorporate Picnik’s technology into Picasa Albums, which they also own. Google will also continue to support all existing partners of Picnik.
Details regarding the terms of the deal between Google and Picnik are not available at present. Picnik is currently among the fastest growing photo editing sites and is already integrated with Flickr, SmugMug and some other sites.
Flickr, which is owned by Google’s competitor Yahoo! will most likely discontinue using Picnik as its default photo editor. Why Yahoo! hadn’t acquired Picnik in the first place is not quite known.
Jonathan Sposato, CEO of Picnik has already worked with Google in the past, when he sold PhatBits to them in 2005. He will now be back with Google.
In the recent past, Google has bought over reMail, the email app for iPhone, and a social search startup, Aardvark, in addition to some smaller companies. Maybe, they have decided that the global recession is over and have started spending again.