Google Purchases Nik Software, Instagram Rival

Google announced on Monday that it has purchased Nik Software, makers of Instagram rival Snapseed, for an undisclosed amount of money.

The announcement is the latest in the battle between Google and Facebook for social networking followers, reports The Huffington Post.

While Snapseed is not as famous as its rival photo editing application Instagram, the newly acquired software has won a following for its editing prowess among photographers. Nik Software boasts more than 9 million users, each of whom have paid $4.99 for the software.

In comparison, Instagram boasts more than 100 million users. Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president, engineering, said on a Google+ post that:

“We want to help our users create photos they absolutely love, and in our experience Nik does this better than anyone.”

The Chicago Tribune notes that Instagram was purchased earlier this year by Facebook. The Instagram application helps users add filters and effects to pictures taken on their smartphones. The purchase was for $1 billion.

BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis stated of Google buying Nik Software:

“Google’s playing chase up in social. It’s yet another tuck in they have done, trying to boost their Google+ offering.”

Snapseed is a highly respected photo editing program, which won Apple’s “iPad App Of The Year” award in 2011 for its multitouch interface for photo editing. Nik Software wrote on its website that, “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.”

Google’s decision to buy Nik Software may help the now 400 million users (100 million active users) of its social networking site Google+.