Picnik is a great online photo editing tool. It is dead simple. Think Adobe Photoshop Elements on the web. For free. The company is a darling of the Seattle startup scene and has won many recent awards. It works on Flickr, PhotoWorks, Facebook, MySpace, Picasa Web Albums, Photobucket, Webshots, Lexmark and Box.net as well as I few I likely missed.
The company has done 3 very interesting things in the cloud. Picnik is using social media to generate word of mouth, using the utility nature of the cloud for raw computing power and using an API to open its services even further. The company’s has successfully leveraged the Facebook platform and builds great word of mouth. Also Picnik is very active on Twitter. Picnik has taken that next technological step moving a very resource intensive application to the cloud. Photo editing is not easy on the CPU. Think about how long Photoshop takes to load. Lots of number crunching. A great cloud problem to solve. Finally the company has an API and nurtures a development community to build add-on and other Picnik based services. In a nutshell, Picnik is leveraging the cloud better than most. The model is interesting.
Keep an eye on Picnik.