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Photography

Free Photo Editing Websites And Apps

By Jan 24, 2012 October 25th, 2014 171 Comments

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Picnik used to be the best friend of bloggers everywhere. Then it closed in 2012.

If you are looking for a replacement for picnik, go straight to PicMonkey.com.

All your dreams will come true.

For back up options, keep reading.

A list of free photo editing sites and apps that will make bloggers smile.

Free Photo Editing Sites

Google and Picnik recently released an official announcement that they would be closing the online photo editing tool as of April 19, 2012. Picnik happens to be one of the SITS girls favorite online editing resources, we’ve been utilizing Picnik and singing it’s praises for years now. It was a platform that provided bloggers like us a quick and easy fix for photos we wanted to improve and share online.

So why is Google shutting down Picnik?

Because Google wants to use all those amazing Picnik photo editing tools on Google+. Now when you upload a photo to Google+  you will see an option to edit your photo…looks familiar doesn’t it?

Photobucket

It contains a LOT of the editing tools we’ve grown to love Picnik for.

Adding these elements to Google+  may be a way to gain more users as well as to give Google+ a leg up on Facebook. It really is a great addition to the platform, but already I see some drawbacks. I don’t want to store every photo I edit on Google+. I’ve already experienced the repercussions that arise with so many Google owned accounts…could they block me out of access to my own pictures as well? I want the option of editing and then saving my photos to other sites (like Flickr and Facebook), and lastly I really enjoyed the Picnik collages. It made displaying a lot of pictures in one spot super easy.

So what are some other photo editing sites like Picnik?

I’m glad you asked. I spent hours playing with tons of free options, including the  and these two were the closest to Picnik I could find:

1. Pixlr Express is the faster “no brains” version of Pixlr and my favorite alternative when it comes down to ease of use and filters. It claims to be the “best online photo editor in the world” and I have to admit the site is pretty darn intuitive. It appears they’re already prepared for Picnik’s lost users:

Photobucket

Pros
-Easy to use!
-A list of 50 really great filters
-Awesome textures and borders
-Pixlr phone app available
-A more advanced “Photoshop” type editor available for more complex photo editing.

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Cons
-Pixlr Express does not have some of our “beautifying” Picnik favorites including airbrush, blemish fixer, etc…
-Saves only to your computer without the option of saving to social media platforms.
-Because it’s so simple and easy to use there are no Collages or functions to add doodles, text, speech bubbles etc to photos…unless that’s what Pixlr Editor version of the site is for?

2. FotoFlexer calls itself the “world’s most advanced online editor”…I’m seeing a trend here. Hokey taglines aside, FotoFlexer makes it clear on it’s front page exactly what it’s capable of doing for your photos and I appreciate that. Right away I see that adding text, shapes, and effects are all things that can be done here. Between the two it operates more like Picnik, but in my opinion falls way short when it comes to nice filter options.

Photobucket

Pros
-Easy Collages. They don’t have the diverse choices Picnik had, but better than nothing.
-Doodles, text, speech bubbles etc
-“beautify” tools for airbrushing or smoothing
-Allows you to share/save your photos to other platforms (Flickr, Facebook, Photobucket, Twitter, etc…)
-Advanced tools and layers

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Cons
-The 32 Filters leave much to be desired

If you’re in the mood to research even more alternatives Phixr, BeFunky, LunaPic, FlauntR, Aviary, and Dr.Pic were all popular sites that cropped up in my searches, but in my opinion fell short due to poor functionality and/or other limitations.

And since none of the options listed above offer the same array of collages that Picnik allowed us to choose from, I may end up using a site specifically designed for collages only. Big Huge Labs Mosaic Maker has great options for easy collage making and Diptic is an easy phone app option for collage making.

Photobucket

If you have a smart phone than you may be aware of some pretty amazing photo editing apps you can use right from your phone and then save or upload to your favorite site or email account. Phone alternatives I love: Instagram, Snapseed (desktop option available), Hipstamatic, Poladroid CameraBag, PhotoStudio, and for collages Diptic.

photo editing apps
Unfortunately there is no one stop shop alternative to Picnik unless you want to download and learn a software program similar to Photoshop…and even that is not as fast as popping a photo onto Picnik for editing. For now, this might mean utilizing two different sites to produce a photo just the way you’d like. A site like Pixlr or a phone app might be great for adding filters/borders, but Foto Flexer or Big Huge Labs Mosiac Maker might be the place to go for adding extra elements to your photo or for creating a very simple collage.

It’s just a matter of time before any one of these photo editing sites steps up their game to provide all of the same functions Picnik offered. For now, we make do…and mourn the loss of our favorite photo editing service. At least we know there ARE other options.

Rest in Peace Picnik.

For more on photo editing check out another post we published on Free Photo Editing and Collage Sites.

171 Comments

  • smh says:

    SOOO mad. Just flat out angry. I was praised for the things that I made on picnik. There is absolutely NOTHING like it. I hate Google.

  • Patrick says:

    Everybody stay calm!!!!

    http://www.picmonkey.com/ is made by the same people that developed picnik. So there you have it!

    You’re welcome!

  • Debra Prater says:

    I’m can’t believe Picnik is closed. Google does not have the orginal Picnik photo editing software. It is limited to say the least. I’ll purchase a software program before i sign up for google+. I have a gmail account and it works great but I’m not happy with google for other reasons. Like yesterday I took some classroom pictures and before I could get to my desk to upload to my Pisca program they were live on the web ? IEvery time i take a picture it uoloads to google for all to see?

  • Amanda says:

    Very helpful post! Thank you!

  • Linda says:

    Great article, thank you!
    I just came across this by searching for an alternative:
    http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/polarfox-app-easy-desktop-image-editor-sharer/

    It’s fun to use. 🙂

  • Alisha says:

    If you love Picnik, check out Ribbet.com! They will be open in a couple of weeks, and are the twin for Picnik! Check it out!!

    Ribbet.com

  • Christina says:

    Try picmonkey.com! I was SUPER bummed about picnik and wasn’t wanting to use Google+…researched a little and its pretty much the same! SO excited! And it’s FREE right now 🙂 Love it!!

  • akshita deharwal says:

    plzzzzzzzz don’t close picnik..! its horrible editing pics without picnik :'(

  • Laura says:

    Hi! I wanted to thank you for all your research! I was about to start checking into things on my own and then I read your blog. Not only was it completely affirming to find others equally as disappointed about Picnik’ s departure as myself, but then to find out about some alternative editing sites, especially picmonkey.com absolutely made my night! And a special shout-out here, to the creative team from picmonkey.com, because – no kidding – it was like finding an old friend again. I went to sleep a happy camper.

  • Edina says:

    I found a new photo editing program online, just like picnik….

    http://www.picmonkey.com

    All of you who lowed Picnik wil lowe Picmonkey

    🙂

  • zcjenn says:

    I am a photographer and dont use photoshop all i use is picnik i really dont understand the reason picnik is closing and dont really know what i am going to do now photoshop is very tedius and hard to learn…

  • Kerri says:

    http://www.picmonkey.com EXACTLY like picnik.com!!!!! I was so excited to find this out!
    Enjoy!! 🙂

  • Amy says:

    If you all like Picnik then try out picmonkey.com its just like picnik. I LOVE it!!!!

  • J.Sclafani says:

    THE GOOD AND THE BAD NEWS. ( Paid or Premium Members$hip request down the road?)

    I could see that I had two touted options on the Picnik site, when I read their FAQ page covering their site closing and they named some alternate web based editing programs users could try.

    3 were offered to my recollection.

    One option was AVIARY- but I have been at that site before, dabbled in it and was not interested in using it again.

    ( Aviary is not bad at all- just not for me. In fact- some people should try it, in case it offers something they like. It could end up being an additional website for them to express their creativity.)

    Anyway, the other 2 options according to Picnik’s FAQ page, had them recommending the 2 alternative sites spoken about on this forum- CREATIVE which is found on Google + or going to PicMonkey.com.

    Like others, I feel Google is becoming a pushy,obnoxious monopoly( becoming? I think they are already beyond that) and I did not want to join Google+ just to use an editing program.

    I was glad to see the latter program( PICMONKEY) does offer almost an identical layout of features to Picnik except different terms are used for these features and naturally the user interface is different.

    If you used Picnik a lot , you will start to make a connection between Picnik’s feature names and PicMonkeys in no time.

    What I did NOT like, was when I went to use the” airbrush tool “on Picmonkey.com and noticed a pop up from the site indicating something about me being allowed to use this feature FOR NOW- but giving me the indication that it would eventually be a feature that would be considered “premium”- AKA:Pay for it, in the near future.

    I want to believe I was wrong. I hope I am.

    But this is what I got out of the quick pop up from PicMonkey.com. In a way-I am not really that surprised.

    Enjoy your Picnik while it is free because if this is the same program in disguise, it will be like Picnik all over again- where you had free and premium membership.

    If you do not mind paying for membership( and hopefully reasonable membership fees are offered if this comes to pass)- great. A lot of people will be happy just to have a fun and easy program to use.

    However, I already dabble in Photoshop and other graphics programs and I used Picnik primarily when working in Picasa and retouching snap shots.

    Picnik was my GO TO program for quick touch ups or adding a little flair or some cute touches to otherwise regular snapshots.

    While it has a very decent capacity to work on enhancing quality images or even create quality art images from scratch- it is still not a professional editing program.

    But then, it never posed itself as such. What everyone loves about Picnik- is its ease of use.

    Which is something that is not so readily available with Photoshop and other editing programs that are meant for serious hobbyists and professionals.

    There was no steep learning curve with Picnik- nor will there be with PicMonkey.com.

    You can sort of just jump right in and intuitively figure things out in no time. To create or restore or retouch an image in minutes was the beauty of such a program. But all is not lost- fortunately. 🙂

    What IS a shame, is that so many people came to rely on Picnik, only to learn it was shutting down and many were left thinking there were no comparable programs or not knowing, there are other alternatives.

    I hope those people( who may be clueless about Picmonkey.com) will eventually find out that Picnik never really left – it just sort of redesigned itself-in the form of Picmonkey.com

    PicMonkey truly appears to be Picnik with a different interface but pretty much the same features. Why not take a look at it now even if you are still using Picnik?

    When Picnik closes for good April 19- get yourself over to PicMonkey and start learning your way around. But don’t be surprised if down the road they start charging for certain features.

    The handwriting is on the wall……

  • Rachael says:

    What a useful article, thank you so much, I was thinking I’d need to trawl the web in a hunt for decent Picnik replacements; but it seems you’ve done most of the work :o)

  • Sarah says:

    Just discovered a great site VERY similar to Picnik (apparently previous Picnikers) called http://www.picmonkey.com. They are brand new and will be adding more features. I’m going to start writing tutorials as soon as possible and post them on my blogging site: http://www.blogguidbook.com. You’re going to LOVE it!

    • Tiffany says:

      Yes, we love PicMonkey.com – I just tweeted them last night asking them to add a font similar to Pupcat! 😉

      xoxo
      Tiffany

  • Jody Rose says:

    I to was very sad to hear Picnik is closing- I do photography and loved the enhancements I was able to do with picnik- I AM SO HAPPY TO HEAR ABOUT Pic Monkey-THANKS SO MUCH FOR MAKING THIS EDITING
    SITE -I tried it tonight and it is awesome!!! jody

  • Baylie says:

    I really want to be a photographer, and Picnik is the website i alwayssss use to edit my pictures because it’s so easy to use and work with!. i’m extremely sad that it’s closing cause it’s such a great site;i can’t believe it’s colsing. All my friends use it too and love it and they can’t believe it’s closing either. why would someone decide to close a website that soo many people love?!

  • ashley says:

    The two main affects I am worried about losing are the sunless tan effect and the teeth whitening effect.. Please add this to G+ or someone let me know which photo editors have these effects. Thanks. Really sad and devastated to see picnik go…..

  • ginger says:

    Thank you!! This is the answer to my questions. Will most definitely miss Picnik but I am glad there is something else out there that we can use.

  • Hannah says:

    YOU GUYS! A few posts down someone posted that some ex-picnik workers launched a new site.
    http://www.Picmonkey.com
    IT’S JUST LIKE PICNIK! OMG I AM SO HAPPY!
    I seriously kind of teared up!
    It looks like there are some things that they are still going to add.
    But over all it’s the same!

  • Mindi says:

    Thank you soooo much for this post!!! I’m still in denial that picknik is closing but the time is coming quickly.

  • Janice says:

    Thank you for sharing your research. I accidently came across a good site: Check out iPiccy it is very Picnik-ish! And, it’s free… see what you think. Thanks again… janice

  • Jenn says:

    Hi Kat,

    My name is Jenn, I’m part of a team of former-Picnikers. We see that you’ve been an avid user of Picnik and love to hear about your passion for great photos! We know you’re probably looking for an alternative to your old favorite so I wanted to let you know about http://www.PicMonkey.com — a new photo editing site built by a couple of the folks who brought you Picnik! It’ll be familiar, fun, and totally user-friendly.

    Sign up on our site and we’ll keep you updated on a launch date. Also, feel free to send me your feedback, feature requests, and, of course, any questions you have!

    Regards,
    Jenn

    • Ashai says:

      Hi Jen & Kat,
      I was and still am a religious user of picnik and was completely bummed out to hear about Google’s invasion. I’ve been searching for MONTHS and found your blog. I visited picmonkey.com and It’s almost exactly the same as picnik! I nearly fell off my seat when I clicked onto the site and started editing! I’m so stoked about this website, I may have to throw a huge FAT party!

      Totally Stoked in Hawaii…
      Tasha

    • mary says:

      I loved picnik so much. I have a couple of photo editing software like photoshop but never use them. I am computer stupid but love taking photos and picnik was user friendly. I have tried picmonkey and like it but wish it would adopt everything from picnik. I will NOT go to google. I am so pissed since finding out picnik is closing because of them , I have not even used the google search and won’t go back to it. Screw google! please move all the things from picnik to picmonkey..I need it.

  • kim says:

    OK… I’m just about getting ready to throw-up!!! Does anyone know of a software like Picnik that’s out on the market for sale?? I’m even willing to pay hundreds at this point… i just don’t want to pay the hundreds for Photoshop…ugh! I don’t have the time or desire to work with that type editing… I’d rather be shooting!! HELP!!! 🙂

  • BB says:

    Thank you so much for this information. I wish they would reconsider and keep picnik. I love picnik.
    http://www.memoirsofmeandmine.com/

  • Madison says:

    google makes me depressed 🙁 do they realize what a stupid idea this is????????? who cares if we get the premium features for free? i’d rather have just the free ones forever than all of them only until april 19th. i do not want a google+ account. yes, i was thinking about getting one just to use picnik, but i refuse to make myself a part of the thing that took it away. utter. crap.
    as depressign as it us, at least we have you to let us know what our other options are:) so thank you!

    • china dahl says:

      Does everyone know that the famous google company is also the author of the scrupulous rip-off reports? They candalize innocent people , through ror, without proof and they want us to give them mor info and time? BS!

      • china dahl says:

        unscrupulous is what i meant and ROR is scandalizing their victums…. sorry for the typos…

  • KittyKate says:

    haaa! Thank God… Ever since I’ve heard Picnik was closing, I spent all my time on it, I was like ‘Where else would I edit my pics?’ haha, tried the Photoshop thingy, but its really confusing… Thank you so very much, your a big help <3

  • Maria says:

    OK got it … it’s not that bad the only thing i don’t like it’s that there are more steps to this then with picnik…it would be nice if they just leave it open and make some money off of that site.

  • Maria says:

    Can someone post the website for the new google editing … i keep hearing that picnik is closing and to use google + but i need a website i keep looking for it and i can’t find the site.

  • […] Other more advanced, but still easy-to-use options include Pixlr Express and FotoFlexer (h/t to the SITS Girls for the […]

  • […] Most photographers use editing programs like Lightroom, Photoshop-CS5, or Photoshop Elements. If you aren’t ready or sure that you want to make the investment in editing software there are some free programs out there. Check out this post about free online editing software. […]

  • Debra Engen says:

    It is really a huge disappointment that picnik is closing. I really need picnik. I was happy to pay for he service to use all the functions that made my photos look professional. Top of my list of worse things to happen in my virtual world.

  • Thank you, I’m so bummed about Picnik closing….I relied on it for all my photo editing!! I really appreciate the insight here and look forward to checking out the alternatives mentioned.

  • Adrienne says:

    I’ve been wondering about alternatives. Thanks!

  • Vivian says:

    Thanks for the post, I tried pixlr.com and I like it a lot, picnik will be missed but I am sure we all will get used to something else.
    n_n

  • Probably the most helpful blog post I’ve ever read. Thank you!

  • goodwife says:

    Thank you! I’m so sad that picnik is closing!! I tried photoshop express and was sorely disappointed. I’m excited to try the two sites you mentioned. Thanks again

  • Margo says:

    I’m devastated that picnik is closing shop.
    I love the convenience of quick edits i can save to computer or directly on my cell or media sites.
    I too have looked at various sites some which have already been noted. But in large the problem is I have not been able to find the tweaking ability in editing photo’s that I got from picnik and the effects. One i loved and used often was the use of floral stickers was impressive and looked very professional once you go the hang of it. Also the framing options were the bomb on picnik. NOTHING compares to picnik. and you can bet I’m am NOT going to use google+ like they want me to, no way, no how, ain’t gonna happen.
    Losing something that makes such a difference with my photo’s will be dearly missed.
    I am so disappointed.

  • Crystal says:

    I’m so bummed about Picnik closing! The more Google tries to shove G+ down my throat, the more I’m set on resisting it!

  • Aimee says:

    befunky.com is another similar to picnik… not as good thought but worth checking out!

  • Mary says:

    I too am sorry to see Picnik closing and I am also looking for a new editing program that works as easy as Picnik. I bought Photo shop Elements months ago and can not figure it out its to complicated and very hard to use. If anybody finds another site like Picnik please let us know

    • Emily says:

      I found a website called Picmonkey.com and its the exact same thing as picnik!

      • Shelby says:

        i love picmonkey.com! i found it before picnik went down! i stopped caring about picnik and went straight to the monkey! its a million times better! and everything is free. there is just no collages quite yet tho..

  • […] for a new photo editing tool? Check out The SITS Girls review – very helpful!! Or, read a review by Get Creative […]

  • Thank you so much for this awesome research, I was so bummed when I heard Picnik was going away (or at least to a place I’m not all that interested in) I didn’t know what to do. I was asking everyone I knew what editing tools they used. This post was exactly what I needed and right on time! Thanks 🙂

  • […] that Picnik is closing 🙁 I’ve been exploring Pixlr, but I want to check out some of these other alternatives as […]

    • Christina says:

      Try picmonkey.com! I was SUPER bummed about picnik and wasn;t wanting to use Google+…researched a little and its pretty much the same! SO excited!

  • Susi says:

    I’m soooooo very sad about Picnik. I hope Google knows what it’s doing. I don’t need, or want another social network to keep up on, nor do I want a watered down version of Picnik to edit photos for that social network. I think they will find, unless you can give us the use of our photos on computers and the full use of Picnik. Google+ is “Beta” cameras from the 80’s all over. (Sorry Google, but you make me really sad)

    • Carrie says:

      AGREED!!! And yes – THANK YOU for this post!!! Does anyone know if Picasa/Google/Picnik will take suggestions to features we loved that they didn’t incorporate into either? Or if Pixlr will take suggestions to some of the features we loved for there???

  • Natalie says:

    THANK YOU so much for this post! I am bookmarking and pinning! So nice to have a place to come with links to check out. I really, REALLY appreciate you doing this!

  • Danielle S. says:

    Auurrg, tab doesn’t take me where I think it should from the name and email fields of this comment form. On a side note, this is the best blog I have read about what is happening to Picnik, why and what decent alternatives are.

  • Bridgitte says:

    I hate that we’re losing Picnik!! The refund will be nice but honestly I have Paint.net and Photoshop both and Picnik is the easiest and quickest to use by far! I’m one of it’s many followers that, like you, will miss it dearly! 🙁
    Thanks for the heads-up on the a few of the mobile apps I wasn’t familiar with….now, where’s my phone?

    • Haley says:

      Ikr I Have Been Looking For HOURS For A Picture Site That You Can Make Things Looks Crystly *Hard To Explain* Picnik Is ONE OF A KIND!

    • Candice says:

      Picnik has turned into Ribbet, from the same website and people but updated, enjoy!

  • Cheryl says:

    Thank you for this. I was so angry when I saw this on Twitter before I got the official notice. There are already too many social media sites to choose from and I didn’t want to be forced into G+ for the reasons you mentioned. I have PS Elements and had decided to dive into it (and may still do so) but it’s nice to know some of the other online photoediting sites available.

    Thanks for doing the legwork because lord knows, I’d never have gotten A ROUNDTUIT.