Does Google Have To Buy EVERYTHING?

2 March, 2010

google, Internet, web content

too cool guy out on the prowl flashing his "bling"I have a small love affair with Picnik. I’ve used it a lot when I need a quick, powerful (and FREE) set of photo editing tools online. Today, Google HAD to go and buy Picnik. “Picking blackberries, painting sky…” Picnik, are you just one more notch on Google’s bedpost? (Google owns Picasa, an “image organizer” and Panaramio, a photo-sharing company).

Perhaps this acquisition is a major gusher for Picnik developers and creators, but I fear big changes will ruin this nice little tool. Maybe I’m wrong, but now that everyone is going to hear about it, like most things… I fully expect quality to suffer. Right now Picnik offers select editing tools as “premium”– you pay for them, but it’s quite reasonable if you’re a power user. I’ll be interested to see if Google cordons off more features to the “premium” label or raises the prices on the premium tools, although that’s not really G’s M.O. It’ll find other ways to integrate the company into its kingdom, increasing cash flow further up- or downstream.

It’s not uncommon these days for sites to manage their monetization strategies using the Free to Premium model. It’s all free at the begining. If its developed really well it quickly builds customer loyalty–like me. Then little by little the really popular tools are retrofitted with a small fee and labelled “premium” meaning “Here’s our best and you’d be lucky to have it at this price, bucko.”

Comprehensive list of Google acquisitions… an eye-opener.

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