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Flickr to use Picnik for online photo editing

In coming months, Flickr users will be able to edit their photos online with Picnik's technology as well as share, tag and discuss them.

Update: I added a few more details from Picnik.

Flickr plans to expand from photo sharing to photo editing through a deal with start-up Picnik, a major change in the nature of the Yahoo site.

"We are working on a relationship with Picnik, which will be available in the coming months," a Flickr representative said Friday, declining to share further details.

Picnik said in a statement that Flickr users would get access to all the Picnik editing features within the Flickr site. "Picnik will become a seamless and tightly integrated photo editing solution for Flickr uses," the company said. "This will radically change the traditional photo-site experience: the user experience will shift from viewing to doing."

Picnik lets users perform a variety of basic editing tasks, including some color correction. Picnik

News of the deal was reported Friday by TechCrunch from the Web 2.0 Summit. The site said Flickr will let users add edited photos to their accounts or, for pro account holders, they can use them to replace the online originals.

Picnik, based in Seattle, lets users perform a variety of basic editing tasks. Among them: users can crop and resize photos; change exposure, saturation, color temperature; sharpen edges; remove red-eye; and rotate pictures by 90-degrees or finer increments. It's got multiple undo levels, and edited photos already can be saved to a local computer or to Flickr, Facebook, Photobucket and Google's Picasa. A "Create" tab lets users apply a variety of special effects and add borders, shapes and words, though some of those effects require a premium account.

While that feature list is pretty feeble compared with what's possible with full-fledged desktop programs such as Adobe Photoshop, it does cover the basics of image editing. Picnik isn't alone, though; Adobe is working on an online Photoshop version and other competitors include Phixr, Snipshot, Pixenate, FotoFlexer, Wiredness, Pikifx and Fauxto.

Click for gallery

Photo editing is a significant change in scope for Flickr. The option spotlights not only the increasingly sophisticated tasks that can happen in Web browsers--a technology generally called rich Internet applications--but also the gradual migration of features from desktop computers to online services.

It's been a newsy week for Flickr at the Web 2.0 Summit. The company also said it's planning to revamp its printing feature to make it easier to print a batch of photos and add new abilities to display geographically organized photos to take better advantage of pictures that have been geotagged with location information.