Google acquires Snapseed photo sharing app to rival Instagram's dominance

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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has acquired Nik Software, the developer behind iOS photo-sharing application Snapseed, pitting its Google+ social network head-to-head with the wildly popular Instagram app, which was acquired by rival Facebook earlier this year. Google and Nik Software did not disclose terms of the deal.

More than 9 million iOS device owners now use Snapseed, which Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) named its 2011 iPad App of the Year. The app enables consumers to shoot and edit photos, apply a variety of imaging filters and share their work via Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Instagram. The Nik Software website states the company is presently working on a version of Snapseed optimized for devices running Google's Android mobile operating system.

"We want to help our users create photos they absolutely love," said Google Senior Vice President of Social Vic Gundotra in a post announcing the deal.

According to Gundotra, Google+ now boasts more than 400 million total users across the desktop and mobile, including 100 million monthly users. While the addition of the Snapseed app should boost the service, Google+ nevertheless remains far off the pace set by Facebook, which touts 955 million monthly active users worldwide, including 543 million mobile monthly active users.

Facebook acquired the Instagram photo-sharing app in April 2012. Originally valued at $1 billion, the deal dropped to $715 million by the time it earned Federal Trade Commission approval in late August, a victim of Facebook's plunging stock price. More than 80 million iOS and Android device owners use Instagram, and the app regularly records more than 100,000 new installs every day.

Established in 1995, Nik Software first generated attention by rolling out desktop imaging services including Color Efex Pro, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro, Silver Efex Pro and Viveza. The company expanded into the mobile segment with Snapseed's 2011 launch.

For more:
- read this CNet article
- see this Google+ post

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