Google acquires firm behind Instagram rival

Google has purchased Nik Software, more popularly known for Snapseed, a rival application for Instagram.
Written by Michael Lee, Contributor

Google has acquired digital image-manipulation software firm Nik Software for an undisclosed sum.

Google senior vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra welcomed the company into the fold in a post on Google+, saying, "we want to help our users create photos they absolutely love, and in our experience Nik does this better than anyone."

In a brief note on Nik Software's blog, the company said, "We've always aspired to share our passion for photography with everyone, and with Google's support, we hope to be able to help many millions more people create awesome pictures."

Nik Software has a number of products that are designed to work with other industry-leading photo-editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture, but it also has its own image-adjustments program called Snapseed, which works on OS X, Windows, and iOS.

Since its release on iOS last year, it has been considered a rival to Instagram, especially as Nik Software plans to make Snapseed available on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and later. Instagram was acquired by Google+ rival Facebook, with the deal closing earlier this month and worth US$715 million.

Google also revealed that this week, over 400 million users have upgraded to Google+, and there are 100 million monthly active users on the social network. Although Gundotra recently cited a 150 million monthly active user figure at the Google I/O 2012 keynote this year, he clarified that those figures included those who had used part of Google+ in some form by +1ing a post, or using Circles via Gmail. The most recent 100 million figure reflects users on plus.google.com and the mobile app only.

By way of comparison, Facebook had more than 901 million monthly active users in April this year.

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