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Google buys smartphone photo app maker Nik

(AFP) – Google on Monday announced that it bought the company behind photo-sharing application Snapseed in a move evidently aimed at countering Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram.

Financial terms of the deal for Nik Software were not disclosed.

“We want to help our users create photos they absolutely love, and in our experience Nik does this better than anyone,” Google vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra said in a post at the Internet titan’s social network.

Google+ social network passed the 400-million member mark this week, with 100 million people using the service each month, according to Gundotra.

Google launched its social network a year ago in a direct challenge to Facebook.

“For nearly 17 years, we’ve been guided by our motto, ‘photography first,’ as we worked to build world class digital image editing tools,” Germany-based Nik said in a blog post.

“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.”

Nik photo editing and sharing products include Snapseed software for smartphones, tablets or desktop computers.

Early this month, Facebook completed its billion-dollar acquisition of popular smartphone photo-sharing service Instagram.

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The big ticket purchase was seen by some as a move by Facebook to strengthen defenses against Google and blazing hot newcomer Pinterest just ahead of the Facebook public offering.

Sharing pictures taken with smartphones is among the most popular activities at social networks.

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