PicMonkey: The Spiritual Successor To Picnik

Matt Smith 03-04-2012

PicMonkey: The Spiritual Successor To Picnik picmonkeythumbAs you probably already know, Picnik’s days are numbered. The popular photo editing website, which was purchased by Google, is going under on April 19th, 2012.


Some of the features found in Picnik have made their way to the Google+ Creative Kit Google+ Adds Free Photo Editing Suite [News] Social networks rely on photos as a means of communication. Where have you been? What have you been doing? Who are you with? Now Google+ users can now look a little better doing whatever with... Read More , but this requires that users start a Google+ account. That hasn’t gone over well with everyone. To the critics, I bring good news – members of the Picnik team have reformed to create a new site – and it’s looking awesome.

Introducing PicMonkey

PicMonkey: The Spiritual Successor To Picnik picmonkey1

The spiritual successor to Picnik has been given the name PicMonkey. It doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as well, but hey, there are only so many URLs still available. As you’d expect, it is a free service that lets you edit photos online.

Using the site is simple. There are four thumbnails on the main page. Three are standard images you can use to try out PicMonkey’s features and the fourth is a blank thumbnail. You can drag-and-drop a photo over the blank thumbnail to start editing. There is no registration required to edit or save photos. In fact, so far as I could find, registration isn’t even an option.

Editing Features

PicMonkey: The Spiritual Successor To Picnik picmonkey2


Once you’ve opened an image in PicMonkey you’ll be introduced to the editing window. All of the menu options are kept in a menu bar to the left.

The basic editing features are what you’d expect. You can crop, rotate, sharpen and resize photos. Adjusting exposure and color and is possible, as well, and these features include automatic adjustments that can be used to quickly improve a photo’s image quality.

These are far from the only features. Clicking on the icons in the menu bar will introduce you to other categories including effects, touch up, text, overlays and borders.

Users eager to see all of Picnik’s functionality replicated in another service will be disappointed – for now. At the moment the new site includes a small selection of stickers (found in the overlays section) and offers a limited number of borders and touch-up options. With that said, the options available do exceed what is currently available in the Google+ Creative Kit.


Patience should pay dividends. PicMonkey’s site specifically says “we’re gonna keep adding more features and more tools and not stop until you scream and say ‘Holy Macarena, people, go home and get a life because you’ve done. It. All!’

Big words for a new site, but they’ve walked this road before.


Speed was one of the reasons for Picnik’s success. Though it ran in a browser, it felt as responsive as traditional photo editing software. This helped erase any reservations potential users had about the service.

PicMonkey is no different. Effects are applied to photos almost instantly and the menu, which has been simplified, feels even more responsive. Even photos with file sizes between 2 and 4 megabytes were no trouble, though the site does recommend such photos be reduced in size for optimal performance.


The Future Is Paid

PicMonkey: The Spiritual Successor To Picnik picmonkey3

All the features are currently free. However, some features are marked by a small crown logo. The first time you use these you will be presented with a prompt that tells you the feature will be part of a premium subscription, but right now it is being made available for free.

PicMonkey will eventually offer a subscription service just like Picnik. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. This business model has worked before and it allows the site to remain free of the advertisements which might reduce the space available to editing or slow performance.

Pricing has yet to be set. In fact, there’s not even an announced release date for the premium service. PicMonkey has only been live for a short time so it may be several months before they are able to implement the subscription.



Anyone who loved Picnik will love PicMonkey. The team working on the new site has but effort into further streamlining the interface, but the basics are the same. You’ll find the same features, the same performance and (eventually) the same revenue model.

There are a lot of alternatives to Picnik The 3 Best Alternatives To The Picnik Photo Editing Tools We recently reported that Picnik will be closing on April 19th. The demise of the popular online photo-editing service has been met with scorn from fans, who are unhappy with Google’s decision to kill one... Read More available, but this site is the only one that’s being worked on by former members of the Picnik development team. Play around with it and then let us know in the comments what you think. Would you be willing to consider paying a subscription when they move to a paid model?

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Tom
    September 11, 2012 at 5:18 am

    Im hoping for an iphone / ipad app. Its more than worthy.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    I m goin to pay easily another 10 to 20 buck for the PIKNIK 2.0 i call it.

    i love the new ! PIK or PIC MONKEY i just love it!!!!

    omg. just need some feature like nip n tuck,for us girls wit a lil bulge in the small waist area LOL or some guys too. but all other features rock!

    thank you PIC MONKEY!

    i still miss/ used to piknik BUT the guys here at PIC OR PIK MONKEY is almost alike.
    worth buying.
    for the year or so.

  3. lauren
    June 20, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    I used PicNic a lot and was sad to hear it was ending. I am glad to have found PicMonkey!

  4. NinaR
    May 21, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    It didn't work by me,
    I want picnick back ;( I hope it works tomorrow..

  5. NinaR
    May 21, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    It didn't work by me :(

  6. Guinny
    May 9, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Can someone please HELP ME! If anyone knows any apps for ipad/iphone/ipod (apple store) that is like picmonkey and picnik, could they let me know!! i REALLY want the editing stuff like, teeth whitening, tan, wrinkle remover ect.. please let me know!! If you do know.. please email me ''

    • Matt Smith
      May 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm

      I don't have a great recommendation for you, but try submitting this
      question to MakeUseOf Answers.

    May 1, 2012 at 2:06 am

    How do I put this on my picasa? Do I have to go on the website and go through the whole procedure every time I do a picture? Picnik was on my picasa site. How can I do this. I tried over and over and I don't know how to do this. Can you help?

    • Matt Smith
      May 4, 2012 at 5:27 pm

      I am not sure if there's an easy way to do this right now. PicMonkey is both new and not associated with Google.

  8. Claise
    April 29, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I'm loving this new version of picnik. It was much easier to handle things. And I think it's best to leave it, even free, because not everyone can afford. Parabêns the picmonkey is perfect.

    • Matt Smith
      May 4, 2012 at 5:29 pm

      I know they are going to introduce a paid service but the features are still robust if you don't pay.

  9. Mrs Shawn
    April 13, 2012 at 2:22 am

    So sorry to see Picnik go. I used it ALL the time and loved it! However, I just tried PicMonkey and am crazy about it! Way to guy Picnik guys!

      May 1, 2012 at 2:07 am

      How do you download it to your site? Picnik was on my picasa. I don't know how to do it?

      May 1, 2012 at 2:08 am

      I did whatever it said. I have to go to my documents and then try and find the picture and then put it on Picasa. It takes so many steps.

  10. Erma Short
    April 12, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Thank you! I think this will end up being even better than Picnik! It is so user friendly. Google + stinks!

    • Matt Smith
      April 15, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      I'm not a huge fan of Google+ creative kit right now either. I thought it was nice when it first came out, but they've basically let it languish since then.

  11. ann kroon
    April 12, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    I love PicMonkey! The staff, esp Brenda who's on flickr answering questions the whole time, is wonderful. It is better and with cooler effects than Picnik even, and it is far far faster. I actually see the closing of Picnik as a blessing in disguise - without it I would not have discovered this fantastic new monkey. It feels new, modern, full of possibilities and with a staff that actually treats their crowd (and potential customers) as adults. I would pay from tomorrow and it would be worth a lot to me.

  12. Jillian
    April 12, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    First of all, thank you for this great article. I was a devoted Picnik user for many years. When I heard that it was closing shop this month, I was really bummed. I was reading the FAQ's and one of the sites they recommend is PicMonkey. I tried this site out and I LOVE it! It has all the same features, and then some, that Picnik has/had. I love the simplicity of it and I would definitely pay to be a premium member, although I hope it's comparable to what Picnik had charged.

    I look forward to PicMonkey enhancing their site with collage features and the ability to create a history of uploaded photos. That will all probably happen once they allow people to create a profile on their site.

    I recommend this site to anyone who loved Picnik. There are a ton of photo editing sites out there, but I find that a majority of them are not very user friendly and can be complicated in one way or another.

    • Matt Smith
      April 15, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      I'm glad you found this site useful. It's certainly one of the best online photo-editing sites right out of the gate.

  13. Heather G.
    April 12, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I was very sad when I heard Picnik was going away, I used it all the time for my blog! I just found PicMonkey today, and I LOVE it! Will definitely be using it in the future!

  14. Kat
    April 11, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Hells yes, I would pay for Picmonkey. Considering how expensive massive photo editing programs like Photoshop are, for someone using photography as a secondary tool for a creative business, it's perfect.

  15. Ld
    April 11, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Sorry to see picnik go, BUT Monkey is gonna be even better ! Just been having a play and it is amazing, great applications and so easy to use. Google Shmooglepoo!!! Their loss!!!!!!! Well done guys,thanks and best wishes...

  16. saxjensen
    April 11, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Will miss Piknik.. but will love PicMonkey insted..
    Have tryed it and bookmarked it in my computer...
    Satisfied... its easy... Thanks..
    Looking forward to more new stuff, hope it will still be free to use!

  17. Nancy
    April 10, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Looks like Flickr is now using Aviary for their photo editing. I'd rather stick with an in-app application, rather than take my images to a different program.

  18. Helga Lankhuijzen
    April 9, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    You made my day! I'm so happy with this follow-up of Picnik!

  19. laura
    April 9, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Thought my photo editing days were over when picnik went to google....I couldnt be happier to have found picmonkey...Looking forward to seeing all the new features coming from the monkey. :) Cant wait to get started!!

  20. Jane
    April 9, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    I was so happy to find picmonkey!! It's great. I wondered how I could edit my photos in the future without having to go through Google+ which I found irritating! Now I can edit the same way as before :-) Happy