My pooch, Dogboy, in Picniks editing interface
  • My pooch, Dogboy, in Picnik's editing interface
Today on its blog, Picnik, a Seattle-based online photo editing service headquartered near Pike Place Market, announced that it had been bought by Google.

The purchase means "we can think BIG," company officials write on their blog. Picnik, which claims millions of hits a month, adds, "Google processes petabytes of data every day ... Under the Google roof we’ll reach more people than ever before."

Picnik's flagship product is a photo editor which works sort of like an online version of Apple's iPhoto. It's not meant to replace apps like Photoshop, but it's become a popular choice for simple photo touch ups with people who use Facebook, and is the default image editor for Flickr, owned by Google's competitor Yahoo!. As Picnik also works with Google's Picasa photo service, which seems the likely reason for the purchase, it'll be interesting to see if Google keeps the ability to interact with its competitor's services.

One interesting point is that Picnik uses Flash as its main interface. For the most part, Google uses standard Web languages AJAX for most of its tools. If Google decides to transition the software over that could mean extra work in the area. Right now, Picnik has just 20 employees, but that could grow if Google decides Flash isn't the way it wants to edit its photos, or if it has other plans for the service we can't anticipate yet.

The financial terms of the deal are unknown at this time, but based on how fast buzz about the company has been spreading, you shouldn't be surprised to see a handful of new Maseratis tooling around town.