Google Ate My Picnik

Google acquired Picnik. Liz at GigaOm leads with the fact that this is the latest in a series of deals by which ex-Googlers have been brought back into the fold.

I’ve yet to see an answer to my main question about the deal: how will this affect the relationship between Flickr and Picnik? It’s been posed in several places, including the comments on Picnik’s post about the acquisition.

Rainbow MinicardWhen I’m using my Flickr account and click to edit one of my photos, it’s Picnik that starts up. Apart from wishing that it would start up rather faster, I’m happy with Picnik.

MySpace, Picnik, the App, and the Magic Sketchbook

Magic Sketchbook SampleMySpace seems to have been doing some good things recently, so this post is overdue. What prompted it was the launch of the MySpace App platform.

I decided to try the Picnik application. At around the same time, I decided that I had to blog about Elio’s Magic Sketchbook project, which I saw at on Flickr, and that I wanted a cropped and resized take on a particular page to link back to Elio’s photoset (which indeed it now does, as you’ll see if you click on the image).

So I used the MySpace Picnik application to pull in the photo from Flickr, edit it, and save it to MySpace. My main comment is that using the MySpace app was rather like going to the Picnik site. Lest that seem too obvious, I should point out some things that surprised me.

There’s a way in which using the MySpace application seemed better than using the Picnik site: the ads were less obtrusive. Picnik has recently changed the way it implements the freemium business model. The free and premium version used to differ significantly in terms of features, with both being ad-free. By this I mean that the difference in features was significant to others, but not to me. Since the change, there are ads for us users of the free version, and I for one find them annoyingly greedy in terms of screen and mental real estate (i.e. attention).

Then there are a few ways in which the MySpace app was worse than using worse than using the Picnik site. Less of the screen was giving over to Picnik editing, since there was MySpacy stuff around.

Then, when it came time to save the photo, I was surprised that MySpace was not prominent among the places to save it to. While it’s true that I’ve never saved a photo to MySpace from Picnik (or anywhere else) before, it was the MySpace application I was using. I’d have preferred it if the app had picked up on that, and promoted MySpace to be among the prominent targets for the save.

When did find the option to save to MySpace, I had to sign in to MySpace, even though I was already signed in. I think that this is because the free edition of Picnik won’t talk to Flickr and to MySpace at the same time. Whether you’re at Picnik or in the MySpace app, you need to have a remium account before Picnik is willing to talk to more than one service.

Please someone, correct me if I’m wrong in any of the above statements about Picnik’s freemiumosity these days. It was rather late when I did all this. That might be why I saved the cropped and resized version to Flickr, as well as to MySpace, and used the Flickr instance for this post.

I do have some photos at MySpace now. My main comment on photos at MySpace is that I’ve been spoiled by Flickr.

As so often, a post has grown in the telling. What started off as a brief comment on MySpace apps with a little example grew into a more detailed example of the application, the service it provides (Picnik), a related service (Flickr). It also highlights Elio’s Magic Sketchbook, which seems to make it all worthwhile.

Editing Flickr Photos Using Picnik

Picnik has teamed up with Flickr to bring photo editing awesomeness to all Flickr users, reports the possibly biased Peter Picnik. The more impartial Mike Arrington also has the story. “The deal has been signed and implementation will occur sometime in the next few months.”

I created the image in the post from a photo already on Flickr, initiating the edit by clicking on the “edit in Picnik” icon above the original. No, that doesn’t mean that I used a time machine to go ahead a few months. It means that I’m using the Picnik add-on for Firefox.