INTERNET SERVICES OUTFIT Google has snapped up the German photography software firm Nik Software, which is responsible for the IOS app and Instagram rival Snapseed, for an undisclosed sum.
"We want to help our users create photos they absolutely love, and in our experience Nik does this better than anyone," Google's SVP of engineering Vic Gundotra said on a Google+ post.
Nik Software said in a statement, "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 acquisition comes just five months after social networking website Facebook's $1b purchase of Instagram. While not as popular as the hipster photo-sharing app, Nik Software's Snapseed won Apple's App Of The Year award in 2011 for its multi-touch photo editing interface, and since has generated much interest from photography enthusiasts.
However, Nik Software says Snapseed has more than nine million users while Instagram says it has attracted more than 100 million users since its inauguration in 2010. Google certainly has a lot of catching up to do.
According to several unnamed sources, Instagram could be making its way to the Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system later this year. If reports last week are correct, the development could see Instagram's popularity reach new heights, leaving Google and Nik Software eating its dust. µ