The battle between Google and Facebook looks set to intensify, after Google confirmed it has acquired Instagram competitor Nik Software, developer of photo-editing service Snapseed.
Snapseed, which was voted iPad App of the Year in 2011, has a multi-touch photo-editing interface, which has attracted a following among photographers despite the app’s $5.49 price tag.
According to Nik Software, Snapseed has more than nine million users. This pales in comparison to Instagram, recently acquired by Facebook, which says it has more than 100 million users.
But in a bid to tap into the photo-editing phenomenon, Google has acquired Nik Software for an undisclosed sum.
Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president of engineering, expressed his excitement over the acquisition in a Google+ blog post.
“We want to help our users create photos they absolutely love, and in our experience Nik does this better than anyone,” Gundotra wrote.
Nik Software, which has offices in the United States and Europe, said it is pleased to announce the acquisition and is looking forward to “the next phase of our journey” as part of Google.
“For nearly 17 years, we’ve been guided by our motto, ‘photography first’, as we worked to build world-class digital image editing tools,” the company said on its website.
“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.”
The news comes just days after Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg flagged his intention to enter the web search market, despite Google’s longstanding dominance in this area.
Speaking at a conference last week, Zuckerberg said the web search market represents a “big opportunity” for Facebook.
In other tech news, social gaming giant Zynga has acquired Californian company A Bit Lucky as it seeks to expand into “new categories of play”, namely “mid-core, multiplatform games”.
The team at A Bit Lucky is working on Solstice Arena, which, according to Zynga, is an “awesome” multiplayer, multiplatform game, and it will continue to develop this game at Zynga.
A Bit Lucky, founded by Frederic Descamps and Jordan Maynard, employs more than 20 employees, all of whom will become part of Zynga.
“After exploring various options and talking to a lot of interested partners, Jordan and I are convinced Zynga is the best choice for us,” Descamps said in a statement.
“Zynga sees something very special in A Bit Lucky and the team we have assembled. Likewise, why we picked Zynga is pretty simple: it was truly a meeting of the minds.”
“At Zynga, we met people like us: passionate hardcore game developers animated by a strong entrepreneurial spirit.”
“Jordan and I are excited to work with them every day to build great mid-core multiplatform games, and grow this new category together… We’re looking forward to launching Solstice Arena as part of Zynga.”