After Google pulls the plug, vultures flock around Picnik

Users of Picnik were none too happy when Google decided to pull the plug on the popular online photo editing service last week. At last count, there were more than 1,400 comments on the Picnik blog announcing the closure, a decision that was made nearly two years after Google decided to buy the Seattle company.

Many of the comments sounded something like this: “BOO! This is so disappointing! Picnik was my #1 stop for photo editing, enhancement, and just plain fun! Not happy, Picnik, not happy at all!”

Well, as is typically the case in these scenarios, some scrappy startups are looking to capitalize on Picnik’s demise. Within hours of the closure, I received messages from Picnik rivals Pixlr Express and Aviary touting their own photo editing products.

Comments from the Picnik blog have lamented the closure of the service.

Aviary, a New York startup, is now making a plea to Picnik customers, writing in a blog post:

“We’re sad to see them go because they were doing some great things, and we know that a lot of people have relied on Picnik for a long time for their online editing. We also couldn’t help noticing the mood across twitter… We’re here to tell you that we hear you, we understand your pain, and we promise that you won’t have to give up the convenience of editing your photos online In fact, we hope that our integration with Facebook will make Aviary an even more convenient solution for you!”

It is not uncommon for companies to take advantage of the death of an online service, especially those of Picnik’s prominence.

In fact, after Summify, a popular online news aggregation service announced that it was shutting down last week, rival Percolate placed a message on its Web site welcoming Summify users.

Picnik was started in Seattle by Mike Harrington, Darrin Massena and Jonathan Sposato in 2005. At the time of the sale to Google, the site had roughly 17 million monthly visitors, a figure that increased significantly under the Google umbrella.

Google plans to shutter the service on April 19th as part of the search giant’s focus on core products.

Listen to the GeekWire podcast to hear our discussion of what happens when popular products are shut down, including Picnik and Summify.

[Editor's note: Picnik co-founder Jonathan Sposato is an investor in GeekWire].

  • Guest

    Congratulations to Google! The absence of Picnik opens up a huge opportunity.

  • http://www.destination360.com Destination360 Travel Guides

    well now you have to join google+;) Wonder how the
    Picnikers are doing at G? 

  • http://www.destination360.com Destination360 Travel Guides

    well now you have to join google+;) Wonder how the
    Picnikers are doing at G? 

  • brandi fitzgerald

    DEVASTATED from the moment of the announcement to vomiting sickness in the following days. My art business relies on some of the deeper layer features in Picnik. So deep in the layers that what I do in Picnik cannot be recreated…..In any other online editing program or any programs in the Adobe Suite. I have 5K in Adobe software that will allow my photography business to continue; however, the loss of Picnik will devastate and fail the Fusion Paintographic piece of my business.  I fuse original acrylic paintings with original photography, maps and graphic type to create these pieces and am looking for any programs anyone may know of that rival Picnik. I am interested in talking more to the writer of this post regarding more statistical data I have gathered about this situation. I have a petition started, a trip to Seattle planned and a letter mailing campaign planned to begin Monday February 6, 2012. Why can’t they just take a program that gains over 200K FB fans PER WEEK and make it a desktop program? Here is a snippet of the response from a woman who used to work for Picnik and is now working on other projects within Google: “…Yeah, it sucks. And no, the full feature set isn’t in Google Plus. And anyway our user base, overwhelmingly young, won’t be able to create G+ accounts because the product is only for 18-and-older. Most of Picnik’s users are young, female, and broke, and are therefore utterly disenfranchised. When Picnik dies, it’ll be without a whimper from the technorati: All adult, male, and completely uninterested. ” http://www.brandifitzgerald.etsy.com – 99% of Prints made using PICNIK.

  • Anonymous

    Started dabbling in photography over a year ago and this year was going to start taking it to another leve with Picnik. Well just as I start off you are closing down the site. I have another well know photo editing that is just no where near as good as Picnik. It is not friendley in other words it is just to hard to learn to use. This is the best photo editing site by far, I have been on several of the others who are offering to take all of us Picnik users on. They still have a long way to go to get there. I wish they would not do this it is such a BOO on Google’s part. Some people make a living using this website don’t take away peoples livleyhoood we all are struggling to make it in this tough economy;. Make into some type of software like AdobePrint or something, just don’t take it totally away. If it ant broke don’t fix it something my former boss told me and he was a great person to work for.

  • Artis – Photo Art Passion

    Picnik is by far the best and the most user friendly editing program I have ever used. I have never learned photoshop or simular programs, and I will never do. Picnik gives you countless ways to be creative and make art that no other program allows you in the same easy way. I have created all my work with Picnik and now it’s soon no more to be. Thanks to the greedy giant; Google. I don’t need to say more. All has been said by brandi fitzgerald and sharon67 here below. I just can not get it… Why on earth close down something that so many love and use, every day all around the world??? Come on Google, you ain’t getting more people to like you by doing this! Mark my word.