I've been playing with a fun on-line photo editing service, picnik.com, and am impressed with the speed, options, and capabilities. Apparently Google was impressed, too, as they just bought the company. Picnik is an on-line image editing tool you can use to manipulate images that you've put on sites like flickr or facebook. Instead of loading software on your computer, like Photoshop, Picnik is cloud-based, so you don't load any software. You either upload photos from your computer or grab images from sites where you've already posted them - like flickr. After locating images, you can easily edit, crop, remove red-eye, or add simple effects like combining images or placing a border around the edges. The process works so smoothly and quickly you don't even notice that you're working over the Internet. Companies that want to create cloud-based systems should look at picnik as a model for a good user experience. For simple photo edits, picnik is a great option. They make money from advertising on the site for free accounts, or by selling additional effects and editing features (and an ad-free experience) which can be purchased for a reasonable $25 for the year. I'm a big Photoshop user - and I'm not dumping it anytime soon, but I've found, picnik.com, a great online service that lets me get a photo edited and posted long before Photoshop finishes starting-up. High-end photographers and creative professionals will be sticking with Photoshop for serious image editing, the fun and ease-of-use of picnik makes it appealing to all types of users who are sharing images online.
Author: Jennifer Smith