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Google Unites Picnik and Picasa

Back in March, Google acquired Picnik, the online image editor that’s long been one of my favorite Web apps, period. It was pretty obvious that the company would link up Picnik with its Picasa Web Albums photo sharing service. And today, it’s announcing that it’s done so.

Nothing earthshattering is going on here: As shown in the screenshots below, if viewing a photo in Picasa Web albums you’ll get a link that lets you edit it in Picnik without any further sign-in process. Once you’re there you can crop, rotate, tweak, apply effects and text, and perform other tasks.

Picnik saves some of its best features (and unlimited access to photos you’ve uploaded) for premium accounts accounts that cost $24.95 a year. When Google bought the service, I wondered if it would follow its past pattern and make the service completely free. So far, it hasn’t–but if you have a premium account, you’ll get access to all its tools when you edit a photo in Picasa Web Albums.

The Picnik/Picasa integration is similar to a deal that Picnik has with Yahoo’s Flickr; Picnik founder and Google Photo Products Product Manager Jonathan Sposato told me that there are no plans for the Flickr relationship to go away now that Picnik is owned by Yahoo archrival Google.

As before, Picnik requires Flash. Sposato told me that Google is interested in the idea of eventually using HTML5 and other technologies to bring the service to platforms and devices beyond Web browsers on traditional PCs, but he didn’t have any specific news in that department.

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