Posted on March 3rd, 2010 at 2:07 PM by Wan
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Picnik is one of many web-based photo-editing applications that are easy to use, fun and fast to learn its usage. Although it is easy to use, yet I personally think that it is a powerful editing tool which could make your photos turn into fabulous state-of-an-art. It has a basic editing functions such as auto-fix, rotate, crop, resize, exposure, colors, sharpen and red-eye removal. Not only you could click any button to display the control for that particular option but you could also apply special effects like night vision, pencil sketch, sepia, black and white, film grain and much more.

Want more? Join premium membership which has additional tools under the “Build” tab. With a simple click of a button, members can convert any photos from simple to artistic functions such as duo-tone similar to Adobe Photoshop. These are some of the user’s added-value. It rewards its members by allowing 100 photos upload at a time with an annual subscription plus unlimited change history. Not to mention others like advanced tools. This not only motivates its member but also increase the community participation.

Picnik used a powerful combination of network effects strategies to defeat its strongest competitors. Personally, I believe Picnik is much better than other web-based photo application competitors. For instant, Flicker and FotoFlexer; even though there are both similar photo editing options but they heavily rely totally on flash plug-ins where users might be having problems with their browser’s ability to process their flash especially the Apple Mac users. Meanwhile, Pikifx does provide online photo editor but it is purely basic with no sliders or controls to adjust. Nevertheless, Picnik does have its minor disadvantages where users won’t be able to edit their photos in Photoshop after editing them in Picnik.

It is interesting to notice that with the evolution of Web 2.0 and Cloud 2.0 can do; Picnik acts as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).  Users can add their own data in the form of photos. This web service offers application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable developers to exploit functionality and provides a wide range of options who want to integrate the Picnik experience into their own websites using the free open-source code. A positive “network effects” shows why Picnik has been recently bought over by Google in 2005. This mean not only they can grow bigger under the Google roof, they would be able to reach more and more people than ever before, impacting more lives and making more photos more amazing. By allowing developers to create rich content through APIs and bringing more members in the community, consequently it does not face problems with walled garden issues. There’s plenty of Picnik API to choose from, either be it for amateurs or professionals for application developers.

In addition, Picnik works fine with majority of the browsers such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox. Users can upload their photo directly from their desktop to Picnik via their drag-and-drop Yahoo Widget. You can also grab an image directly from any website with their Bookmarklet such as Picasa, Flickr, Webshots, Myspace, Photobucket and many more.

There are a lot of new advertising opportunities in Picnik than ever before. With 9.6 million active monthly unique users internationally, 67% predominantly female audience and 43% between ages 13-17 (Quantcast Sept 2009), Picnik would pose a threat to any web-based photo firms like Apple and Adobe. Google is having a big plan such Picnik mobile to compete with other mobile platforms such as iPhone, Blackberry and Windows Phone 7 series. Indeed, there is no doubt the future trend would be merging its existing online photo-sharing service, Picasa with Picnik. Perhaps this could be the rise of Pic-Pic or G2P (Google + Picasa + Picnik)?

How easy to use Picnik

References:

1. http://blog.picnik.com

2. http://www.picnik.com

3. http://www.bnet.com/2448-14061_23-399298.html

4. http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/editors/24875/