Saturday, January 21, 2012

Picnik is Packin' Up - Headed to Google+

Previously Created through Picnik.com
Sun is going down and the mosquitoes are coming out - Time to Pack Up!
My favorite web based photo editing site is packing up its basket and folding up its blanket. At least it is a green product and will be recycling. As of April 19th this year, Picnik.com will be closing its photo editing site. Apparently, they have been working in conjunction with Google+ and moving some of their popular photo treatment effects into Google+'s Creative Kit.

They are Making it EASY!
Not only are they giving us a handy dandy tool to download all of our creations into neat zip folders onto our computers called Picnik Takeout, they also give us the option to transfer them to our Google+ accounts as well. I will be doing this in the next few weeks and am sure I will be seeing a HUGE influx of new photography swarming G+.

Money Back? Who Does that These Days?
Apparently Picnik.com does! I have had a premium membership with them for a very long while now. I am not sure when my membership runs out but apparently that doesn't matter. They are not pro-rating it. Here is what they say about refunds:
To our primo Picnik Premium members, we’ll begin processing a full refund of your current membership fee within a week of this announcement. By “full” we mean the whole darn thing. Yep, this means even if you are on your very last day of an annual membership, we will refund you the entire $24.95. Just because we want to say thanks.
All I have to say to that is - NICE JOB! This has to be one of the best transition schemes I have seen in a very long time. I think that Netflix should have talked to these guys before making the horrible turns they did with their customers. Apparently Picnik knows how to make their customers happy and keep their image good - REFUNDS!

Uncertainty Still Ahead...
Even with all of the niceties trying to ease the blow, the fact still remains that a very popular, easy, and powerful web based photo editing site is going away. It may be headed to Google+ but certainly isn't in its full form there. Also, if someone does not have a G+ account then it will seem that Picnik will be completely taken away from them. Sure, they are opening up their site with full access to all premium content until they close down in April, but after that, there will be a very large group of users that will be left waiting for the next easy-to-use, quality, inexpensive, photo editing software to pop up somewhere that is not attached to a social networking site.

I May Be Alone...
The comments at the Picnik Blog are overwhelmingly negative. The vast majority of Picnik users who have commented do not use Google+, think that Picnik sold out to Google, and are very upset that one of their favorite tools will be leaving them. I may be alone in thinking that this is the best possible alternative, but I think it is. If a business needs to do something to boost themselves in this economy, they need to find something big to ride the coat tails of. Now I don't believe that Google+ has grown or will grow to anything comparable to Facebook. However, I do believe that G+ is a very valuable and useful networking/socializing site. If they strengthen their photo editing and effects, then it will be that much more attractive to someone who has never used it. I think that this will be a win for Google+ as long as it works properly. Everyone on there is going to have fun with the effects they can apply through the technology that Picnik used so I may be alone in thinking this is a good idea but not in the G+ community.

What's YOUR Take?
I want to hear from you! Let me know what you think about this transition.
  1. Had you ever used Picnik.com before?
  2. Were you a premium member?
  3. Are you a Google+ user?
  4. Do you plan on joining Google+ because of this?
  5. Do you think that Picnik sold out to Google?
  6. If you used Picnik and don't plan on using Google+, do you have any other editing software or site in mind?
What's Not There When the Sun Goes Down.
Created using Google+ Creative Kit
I will miss my Picnik and am really hoping that it will not flop in Google+. I liked going to a specific site when I wanted to edit a photo or add effects to it. I didn't have to share it but I was able to share on multiple sites from that single point. Google+ gives me the ability to share to specific people, within my circles, or even to the whole public which isn't the same, but still allows control. However, the Creative Kit is still lacking in some of my favorite Picnik effects such as Selective Focus and the Frames including the vignetting and museum matting. So here we are at the end of the day. The sun has set and the car is all packed and ready for home, I just hope I don't get indigestion.

4 comments:

Jenn said...

Hi Melissa,

I completely understand your trepidation with the closing of Picnik. My name is Jenn, I'm part of a team of former-Picnikers. We see that you've been an avid user of Picnik and love to hear about your passion for great photos! I see that you're looking for a new great photo editing site so I wanted to let you know about www.PicMonkey.com -- currently being built by a couple of the folks who brought you Picnik! It’ll be familiar, fun, and totally user-friendly.

Sign up on our site and we’ll keep you updated on a launch date. Also, feel free to send me your feedback, feature requests, and, of course, any questions you have!

Happy blogging,
Jenn

Melissa True said...

Hey Jenn,
That sounds like a great concept and I really do hope you can bring something of quality to the masses and to those of us who will greatly miss the ease of use that was Picnik. I signed up for your updates and look forward to something new.

Regards,
True

Jenn said...

Hi Melissa,

I'm sure you received an email with the update, but just in case I wanted to let you know PicMonkey's in the wild! Check us out and let us know what you think! PicMonkey.com

Cheers,
Jenn

Melissa True said...

Hello again Jenn,

Unfortunately I have NOT received the email and am very glad that you posted back to my blog about this. I am rockin it out on your new site. I will also be blogging about it here soon once I get a few features under my belt and some photos to show off.

It is looking very promising and SIMPLE - bonus points on that!

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