Google Buys Nik Software

Google Buys Nik Software

Vic Gundotra announced this morning that Google has purchased Nik Software. Nik makes the popular iPhone app Snapseed and also makes some serious editing tools for Lightroom and Photoshop. I’ve been a big fan of Nik’s Silver Efex Pro and find that it is one of the best software packages for doing black and white conversion work.

It seems like photo processing is increasingly becoming a desired tool for photo sharing networks. Previously Google had purchased Picnik and has since integrated some of Picnik’s mad skills into the Google Photos experience. After the Google acquisition of Picnik, Yahoo’s Flickr switched from Picnik to Aviary earlier this year for online photo editing. Some of Flickr’s users have complained that Aviary is not as good as Picnik was.

With the Nik purchase, I’d imagine that even more photo processing tools will be coming to both Google Photos on the web and especially Google Photos on mobile.

It’s great to see Google continue pushing forward innovation and investment in the photography space. I don’t really use online photo editing tools as I prefer the more powerful and professional editing through Lightroom on my MacBook Pro, but obviously the masses out there do (as Instragram can attest to).

Facebook owns Instagram (and could theoretically include Instagrammy filters into the broader Facebook photos experience). Google now owns Picnik and Nik. Flickr feels like they are being left out in the cold in terms of online photo editing talent. People don’t seem to like Aviary.

So what should Flickr do? If I were them I’d seriously look at MacPhun’s FX Photo Studio Pro Software. This is the best super simple drag and drop photo processing application on the market today. MacPhun also has snapheal, which is a pretty interesting content aware photo processing tool that can remove objects from photos as well. Flickr could buy MacPhun and integrate these application based processing tools into an online photo editor and would have a pretty powerful online editor. Rumor is that Marissa Mayer just got a boat load of cash. Of course Google or Facebook could also buy MacPhun and integrate their drag/drop functionality as well.

Although for us photo geeks the big news story today is the Nik purchase, within his announcement post Vic Gundotra probably buried the real lead, which is that Google+ now has over 400 million members. Wow! 400 million! Amazing growth and congratulations to the Google+ team!

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15 Comments

  1. Mike Spivey says:

    Do you suppose they wanted Nik because of their U-Point technology patent?

  2. Captain Kimo says:

    Wow 400 million is an amazing growth. I’ll have to get back over there more regularly. Looking forward to seeing what happens in the future with Nik. I don’t use online editing programs myself but for smartphones I do enjoy adding that extra touch to the photo before sharing them.

  3. jack says:

    I really like Nik, and hope Google will keep their personnel in place. I currently use Silver Efex, Viveza and Color Efex (still trying to get comfortable with it, but think the latest version is a big improvement.) I know everyone except me loves the cloud:) But with Apple’s resistance to USB connectivity with the iPad, I think there is a place for a photographic cataloging an editing centred tablet. Nik on Android has interesting possibilities.

  4. GaryG says:

    Some the worst news I have heard all day. If Nik does not work with CS7 or Lightroom 5 I will likely not upgrade my Adobe software.

  5. Yeah, I’ve been a bit underwhelmed with Aviary so far. It’s certainly no Picnik that’s for sure.

  6. david says:

    I love the Nik Plugins for Lightroom I hope they don’t put their focus on the iPad apps and overlook the brilliant tools for Aperture and Lightroom. I think this disheartening.

  7. Jason Borg says:

    I wonder if they will let them continue autonomously or if they will integrate their employees into the google force. And a derivative of that, will the Nik software programs continue or will they be rebranded google as well.

  8. I love Nik and their products. Snapseed, the complete collection, I even listen to Scott Shepherd and Nik Radio. I hope they keep the quality products and innovation that they are known for.

  9. Is SmugMug far behind???

  10. John Toma says:

    Great points TH. Google definitely showing that it takes photography seriously with this purchase. I don’t usually use online editors either, but who knows, in a pinch, I might do so. Just started G+ recently, and looking forward to seeing where it goes. Regards,
    John

  11. Gary Denness says:

    How thoroughly depressing. I love Nik, and given Google’s record with the company’s they buy, there’s more chance they’ll trash or can it (after sucking the bits they need) than improve it.

    Google+ is very niche, by the way TH. 400 million users? My backside there are 400 million active Google+ users. Their accounting system is something Bernie Madoff would be proud of. Sure, there might be 400 million people who signed up for Google+ who are active on other Google services…jeez, I’m sure you know all this already.

    But Google+ has already completely bombed as a Facebook competitor. And that’s what it was meant to be. What normally happens when a Google product doesn’t do what they wanted it to do? I’ll betcha that Google+ is either reinvented into a photography site, or is gradually left to slowly die. One or the other.

  12. Clearlight says:

    +1 Gary Denness comments

  13. Mike says:

    Google bought Sparrow and killed it. I bet they kill off the great Nik software I bought, too.

  14. Is Google taking over the world? I own two sets of Nik Software so this is interesting to know.

  15. arsız bela says:

    Google bought Sparrow and killed it. I bet they kill off the great Nik software I bought, too.