Tools now available to all users include advanced edit tools, special effects, additional fonts and shapes. The service will be ad supported, but those wanting an ad free experience can sign up for Picnik Premium for $24.95 a year.
Why the change? This is how Picnik spins it:
We want to make everyone feel like a photo editing superstar. Picnik is already the world’s leading online photo editor, but there are still a lot of people living tragic, gloomy lives believing that powerful photo editing tools cost hundreds of dollars, come in unopenable boxes, and are impossible to use. By offering an ad-supported version of Picnik, we can make much richer, deeper, and ultimately better photo-editing functionality available to more people around the globe: Photo editing awesomeness for everyone.
The more likely reason: they can afford to do so due to the money they’re getting from Yahoo for the Flickr deal, and in the face of increased competition (both existing and future) Picnik needed to offer more. Still, Picnik was a good package before this announcement, and now it’s better again.
See our February 2007 review of online Photo editing sites here.