As TechCrunch noted last week, it looks like Adobe and Photobucket are getting together. Details are still pretty iffy, and I'm hoping to get more information about the product when it officially launches, but the Denver Business Journal has announced the partnership, so it seems to be a done deal.
What I'm hearing is that this is an application that will enable Photobucket users to edit their photos online, probably similar to functionality that Picnik offers. The CEO of Photobucket, Alex Welch, was quoted as saying the application would:
give users the ability to combine images, videos, text and music to create personalized "mashups" of content from their Photobucket albums.
I think it's an odd move for Adobe, and I'm not sure I understand the rationale behind it. The article talked about the ability for Adobe to get its "tools and brand name in front of millions of users" but they DO make Photoshop and Flash for millions of users, so I'm not sure how this ties back to sales. It could be a matter of them testing the water for lighter, hobbyist version of Photoshop that they could deliver and charge as a service.
In the end, I worry how this affects the people building great applications on Adobe's platform. Macromedia and Adobe have mostly stayed in the role of enabler, creating great tools and then letting their customers build with them. Adobe seems to be eating its own dogfood more and more by building competing applications on top of the platform.