It was announced this week that Google purchased Picnik, a free online image editor we thought enough of to include in our Five Best Free Photo Editors To Spruce Up Your Blog list recently.  While the official announcement from Picnik is very upbeat about the situation, we can’t help but wonder if the future won’t be a familiar path we have seen before when Google buys a Web app.

googlepicnikAnyone logged into their Dodgeball account recently?

Hey, I want to update my Jaiku status!

I think you get the idea.  Google has a tendency to get all worked up over an idea, they purchase a company that does it and then they just cannibalize it for talent or parts.  All of them start off with similar intentions, but then some time passes, and things change.  There is every chance that Picnik will be left whole, but I’m not exactly holding my breath either.

The biggest issue is that fact that it can work directly with Flickr, the leading photo sharing service out there.  Google has its own online photo album site called Picasa.  While Picnik soothed the souls of those who were concerned by saying Flickr support would continue, you have to wonder for how long.  Why should Google continue to support such a large competitor to one of its own products?

While having Google come knocking on your door has to be a thrill for any company, it now sends a stabbing knife of dread through the users of that service.  Will Picnik be a different scenario?  Will the Big G allow the company to continue to work and do its own thing as the official announcement suggests?  Only time will tell, but I’m sorry to say I have a feeling this will not end well for the users eventually.

What do you think?  Will Google let it stand as is, or will they muck it up like they have so many other sites it has purchased?