Google launches challenge to Instagram

08 December 2012 - 17:53 By AFP Relaxnews
Image: AFP Relaxnews.

Google has launched the Snapseed photo editing and sharing app for free.

Snapseed has been available for iPhone and iPad for some time but until now; it was a paid-for app and there was no Android version, despite the fact that Nik Software, the company that developed the app, was acquired by Google in September.

The search company has addressed this issue and now, as well as being free, the app has integrated Google+ sharing -- as well as Facebook and Twitter -- so that users can post to most of the major social media sites.

What sets Snapseed apart from Instagram and the myriad other photo editing and sharing apps already out there is the professional quality of the filters and adjustments it makes possible, but presented in a way that's as simple to use as a smartphone. So much so that it led Scott Kelby, the President of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, to describe it as "...hands down the best photo app for the iPad to date."

Google+ integration suggests that Google is once again concentrating on raising the profile of its own social media offerings.

Although it can't compete with Facebook's one billion+ users, the latest figures for the site, published on Wednesday, show that since its launch in 2011 it already has over 500 million accounts with profiles, but only 253 million members currently actively use the social network's services.

So, while it has some way to go until it catches up with Facebook, it has grown at an exceptional rate, and the addition of a photo editing and sharing app as good as Instagram can only help to build on those numbers.