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.
“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].