Google Acquires Photo Editing App To Enhance Social Service
September 17, 2012

Google Acquires Photo Editing App To Enhance Social Service

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

Google buys Snapseed makers, earns 400,000,000 Google plus users

Google has just announced the purchase of yet another tech company responsible for great iOS and Mac apps: Nik Software.

With some 9 million users, Nik Software´s Snapseed is a popular photo editing app for both iPad and iPhones as well as Mac OS X. Now that the deal between Facebook and Instagram has finally been made official, this move by Google is seen as a way to boost not only their photo offerings but also their mobile offerings as they pit Google + against Facebook for social networking supremacy.

By contrast, Instagram now boasts more than 100 million users.

Following in the footsteps of Facebook executives, Google´s senior vice president announced the news on his own social service, saying, “We want to help our users create photos they absolutely love, and in our experience Nik does this better than anyone.”

Snapseed is similar to Instagram in that the app allows users to easily add filters and make small modifications to their mobile photographs. Yet, Snapseed excels in that it can do so much more, like adjust color saturation, brightness and contrast. Snapseed also allows users to add these modifications to specific portions of the image, making it easy to create HDR like images as well as highlight one portion of an image rather than apply these changes all around. Currently, the mobile app is only available on iOS, though after this announcement, the Android version will likely arrive very soon.

A more robust version of Snapseed is also available for Mac and Windows PCs.

Analyst Colin Gillis with BGC Partners sees this move as yet another strategic move by Google to beef up their mobile and social offerings.

Google's playing chase up in social," said Gillis. "It's yet another tuck in they have done, trying to boost their Google+ offering."

Nik Software issued their own statement on their own Web site, rather than taking to a social media site.

“We´ve always aspired to share our passion for photography with everyone, and with Google´s support we hope to be able to help many millions more people create awesome pictures,” writes the team on their blog post. “We´re incredibly grateful for all of your support and hope you´ll join us on the next phase of our journey as part of Google.”

Elsewhere in Google + news, Gundotra also announced the Google social network has just signed up its 400,000,000th member, just one year after the search giant opened up the network to the public.

"While Google+ is all about creating a better experience across Google, it's also a destination,” said Gundotra.

Google refers to their social offering as the “social spine” of Google, bringing together their +1´s (their versions of “likes”) to stories, games and apps within the Google Play app store and integrating YouTube videos to signed in users. These Google Plusers can also snap and share pictures from their mobile devices seamlessly, though with a little less friction when used within Android.

Google has also come under fire recently for placing their Google+ search results (as well as YouTube results and Google ads) higher in search rankings than other results.

Google has also taken great care to defend their social network, which has been referred to as either a place for tech nerds or a complete “ghost town.”

Of course, when your competition boasts some 900 million users, you´re likely to have a strong fight ahead of you. Now, with Snapseed, they´ll at least be able to take some decent pictures along the way.