At a Glance
- Easy photo editing tools; free
- Pushes Premium version; Limited sharing features
This excellent online image editor also is available as a Facebook app that lets you edit your photos without leaving the social networking site.
I am one of the millions (and millions) of folks who use
Facebook to share photos. I’m also one of the many folks who wish
the social network had better photo editing tools. But I’ve given
up on waiting for Mark Zuckerberg and co. to introduce them, now
that I’ve found Picnik. Google’s free online image editor is
available as a Facebook app that delivers the basic image editing
tools that Facebook should have already.
Like its Web-based counterpart, Picnik’s Facebook app offers a
host of photo editing and sharing tools. You can rotate, crop,
resize, and sharpen photos, or adjust the exposure and colors,
among other tools. These basic editing features are missing from
Facebook’s own photo tools, so they’re a nice addition.
You also can upload photos from your computer or another Web
site, and the Picnik Facebook app gives you automatic access to all
of your photos that you’ve already uploaded to the social
networking site. In addition, it lets you edit your friends’
photos, too–but only, it seems, if their privacy settings
allow.(Note: We attempted to confirm this information, but Google
did not respond to repeated requests to do so.) When editing
friends’ photos, this results as your own, new photo: you can’t
alter your friends’ images and replace their originals. Once your
photos are edited, you can post them to your Facebook profile, and
can add them to an existing album or create a new one.
You also can use Picnik to create slideshows and photo collages,
but you cannot share the results directly on your Facebook profile.
You can send them via e-mail, or you can post the provided link to
your profile and share them that way. This limited sharing is
unfortunate, as the ability to post a complete slideshow directly
to your Facebook profile would make Picnik a must-have app.
But the limited sharing capabilities are a minor complaint when
compared to the way Picnik pushes its Premium version on you. You
don’t need a Picnik account at all in order to use the Facebook
app, but signing up for one lets you save your photos to Picnik’s
site. It doesn’t, however, free you from all of the annoying
prompts you get that suggest a Premium account ($25 per year) would
be a worthwhile investment. If I were a frequent Picnik user,
upgrading to Premium could be worth the cost, but being nagged
about it makes me less interested in doing so. Every time you view
your photo library, you’re reminded that you can only upload five
photos at a time–unless you pay for a Premium account, which
allows 100 uploads at once. The first time I created a slideshow,
Picnik automatically added a style to it–one that was available as
part of a Premium account only, as if to tease me with what I
wasn’t getting. Enough, already.
Picnik’s sharing features are a bit limited, and the push for
its Premium service is overkill. But this free Facebook apps offers
some very handy and easy-to-use photo editing tools that make the
annoyances worth it.
Note: This link takes you to the vendor’s site,
where you can use this Web-based software without registration in
your Flash-enabled browser.