I was just about to start writing about how much I liked using Picnik with Picasa Web Albums, when I saw the news that Google acquired Picnik. No terms were announced, but congratulations to the Picnik management team for financing the company internally. I’m a bit surprised that Yahoo! didn’t acquire Picnik considering how integrated Picnik was with Flickr. Based on Yahoo’s response, I wonder if the Google acquisition was a surprise to Yahoo. I’d bet that Yahoo! also made an offer to acquire Picnik.
Anyways, back to the original point of this post. Picnik allows you to access and edit all of your photos on Picasa Web Albums. While the Picasa application on your computer has a number of image editing features, Picnik has a much larger variety of effects. You can save your changes directly to your current image or save the edits as a new photo. Unlike using Picnik with Flickr, your EXIF data is not lost, although I did have some problems with the ISO data. My only complaint with editing images in Picnik vs. Picasa is speed. It shouldn’t be a surprise that editing images over the cloud would be a bit slower than doing it on your PC though.
Prior to the Google acquisition, you had to pay to access premium features on Picnik. I’m wondering if the pricing will eventually change now that Picnik is part of Google. That would be awesome if all of Picnik’s features were to become available for free. I’m not sure Google will incorporate Picnik’s features into the Picasa desktop application since Google is such a proponent of cloud computing. If Google did, however, the Picasa desktop app would probably become the de facto photo management/editing program for beginners and amateurs.