Why Google Buying Nik Software Makes Me Happy.

So, this was an interesting morning!  The internets were abuzz this morning with the announcement that Nik Software was Purchased by Google. (Link to Vic Gundotra’s Post on Google+).   As soon as we saw this come out, I made a post on it on my Google+ page, talking about how this could be something that could take Nik Software even higher still (confession: I absolutely love what Nik Software does and use them pretty much all the time).  This post was immediately met with a lot of cynicism.  To some, this was the perfect opportunity to have Google acquire Snapseed, and allow all of the other plugins to evaporate.

I will preface this by saying I have absolutely no inside knowledge on the matter.  That said, I believe that there is no reason for people to believe to be the case.  Funny enough, most of the reasons as to why belive this to be true dont deal with numbers or statistics.. just things of the heart.  There are three reasons why I believe this to be true.


Nik has Photography DNA – Google Likes DNA

If you’ve used the Nik Software Collection, it will become incredibly apparent to you that the software is a labor of love.  The tip of the hat references to Zones in their black and white software Silver Efex Pro were just neat, Their attention to detail (literally) in Sharpener Pro made printing a cinch (setting viewing distances, printer type.. very slick).  Viveza control points make the experience of selectively adjusting an image a breeze.  It shows that people who are passionate about photography are guiding the development of this.

Google is one of those companies that likes to purchase organizations (my opinion) that show a great commitment to product.  That commitment needs to be in an organization’s DNA, not just a market statement.  In liking this, i’ll believe that you’ll see more of the DNA of Nik Software go into Google than the opposite.  You cant be this passionate about software and have it languish.


Google Values Photography

Its pretty apparent that one of the differentiating things about Google and their social platform is that they really value photography.  I always smile when I see both Sergey Brin AND Vic Gundotra jump into hangouts to show their photographic work.  My buddy Mike Wiacek runs with the Google Photography group, where tons of Googlers get to share their passion.  Brian Rose and Dori Strobek are passionate ambassadors of hangout technologies and spend crazy amounts of time evangelizing their love of photos.

I think that the best products are designed and kept because the people at the wheel have a love for what they are building. I believe that this kind of passion from the Google side can only see Nik as a complete asset.  Yes, Snapseed makes sense from a total standpoint, but to cut off something that benefits individuals so closely (photographic software) would not make sense.  The technology could be of great value both on desktop and on the cloud, and if anyone can tweak it to make it work, it would be Google.   It would remain because people love it  – defying the most analytical “this makes sense because of .. ” cynicism.


People Like Ease

Theres a reason that things like Snapseed and Instagram do well.  They are easy.  In a world where we are entirely overwhelmed with things to do, we want to find things that make our routines easier.  Photography follows these same principles.   At the end of the day, we want to spend our time trying to realize the images that are stuck in our hearts and in our heads.  While we love learning the process to create things – truth is plugins get us to these things faster.  This is what makes the software collection great.  This is what makes Snapseed great.

Imagine being given an opportunity to get quality software to the masses AND continue on the tradition of getting people to the images that they want faster..  It would be crazy not to do this.  Say what you will on Google, but they tend to spend a lot of time working on things that not only affect us technologically, but also affect our artistic experiences.  For this, I believe that things will only get better.




As I think about the announcement a little more, I start thinking about all of the possibilities that this could bring.  Now..   Think of this…  you know how much you like Nik Software?  Think about how much you like Snapseed?  Could you imagine if all of a sudden Snapseed became the editor for your images in Google+?  Imagine uploading images into your account, then all of a sudden getting Color Efex Pro in the cloud?  That be sick!  Or.. how about being able to use Silver Efex Pro.  On your phone!

I’d rather focus on all of the Fantasy land  stuff than focusing on the negative.  I believe this thing has got nowhere to go but up.  🙂


  1. I do think that this acquisition will benefit the average app and social user but my bet is serious photographers using the plugins will lose.

    I can’t imaging Google supporting installable plugins for Photoshop and Lightroom.

  2. I use the full Nik suite and love them all. Unfortunately I agree with Matt’s comment. I can’t see this working out for photographers. I see Google limiting the use of Nik products as proprietary plugins only for use with the future products Googleshop and Lightgoogle.

  3. Yeah…sorry, RC…but I’m in the pessimistic camp too.

    This acquisition – to me – looks likely to be focused on integrating Snapseed into G+, particularly from the mobile angle. I just don’t see how pro-level photography tools fit with Google’s business…no matter how much Vic and Sergey like photography.

    I hope I’m proved wrong and time will tell…but…yeah…put me down in the pessimistic column too.

  4. My images are all edited long before they make it to Google+. I can’t imagine relying on it to fine tune my images. Google+ is an afterthought for me. I hope I didn’t just waste my money on a set of plugins that will die a slow death.

  5. Pingback: 5 Random Thoughts About Google Buying Nik Software | Matt Kloskowski

  6. Can’t wait to see how Google integrates Nik imaging technology into Google products. Beautiful images bring out the best of everyone!

  7. I’ll take a crack at this situation because I am optimist. I use the Complete Collection via plugins in Aperture 3 and I love it. I seem to recall that a year or so ago a Nik Software exec responded to an interviewers question about what next with a statement about freeing the plugins to run on their own instead of being plugins to someone else’s software. That made sense to me. Then I saw that Topaz Labs released such a product: photoFXlab which allows you to “access all your Topaz plugins in a standalone application.” In a similar vein, when I send a photo from Aperture 3 to one of my OnOne plugins, I see that I can get to all the other plugins from one interface. To extend this thread further, when I am in Viveza 2, I see that the global adjustments panel looks sort of like the Develop module in Lightroom 4. So it is not too far a stretch to assume that something big is coming from this marriage: a product to compete with Lightroom and Aperture, one that could be much better than either one of those if it can deal with the photo management part of the workflow. Dare I suggest that a much more engineered version of Picasa could be such a solution if it were done by the Nik engineers and not the Google folks?

  8. In a nutshell, I can’t see this being a bad thing.
    I think NIK by comparison is much better than OnOne, and this should only really enhance the offerings that NIK will have moving forward.

  9. I love Nik Software products and I can not image Google stop improve them. Google is not like Microsoft.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *