Google acquires picture-editing software Picnik, deepening reach into the internet's pictures

222 picnik-logo-post thumb.jpgLooks like Google might be soldifying its control over the web’s pictures by announcing yesterday that it will be buying out Picnik – the free photo editing software.

Picnik has provided popular free browser-based picture editing software, meaning users don’t have to purchase or download complicated software. It also links into social networks well, meaning that users can send photos direct to facebook or myspace and store them in the cloud while editing them.

Google already runs Picasa – the picture-organising and tagging software which has some simple picture editing tools on it, but Picnik would improve the experience massively and extend Google’s reach into pictures on social networks as well as on users’ own computers.

Google promises greater integration between the two services but no specifics as yet.

Picasa is a “native app” taken over by Google in 2004. It has been spreading its reach into social networks through apps like Picasa uploader for Facebook.

Distinctive features on Picasa include logging GPS information for all pictures taken on smartphones so that Picasa and thus Google knows both where and when you took the pictures and can plot it all on Google Maps as well. The service also has facial recognition, you can tag your friends and then the site auto-tags other photos from the contacts you’ve created. Expect some interesting results from this Picnik integration.

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Anna Leach