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Google acquires Instagram rival Nik as Google+ service hits 400 million users

17 Sep 2012
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Google has announced it is to acquire imaging platform Nik Software and claimed its Google+ social networking now has over 400 million members, still under half that of key rival Facebook.

The company said that the team at privately-held Nik, which offers services similar to Instagram, would be joining Google effective 17 September. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

While the role Nik's team will take in Google was not outlined, the deal would likely be used to bolster the company's web services and social networking operations.

Based out of San Diego and Germany, Nik develops a number of photo editing and imaging tools and plug-ins.

"For nearly 17 years, we’ve been guided by our motto, 'photography first', as we worked to build world class digital image editing tools," Nik said in a statement announcing the deal.

"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."

Vic Gundotra, Google senior vice president of engineering revealed the deal as part of a pair of announcements posted via the Google+ service.

In addition to the Nik deal, Gundotra announced that the Google+ social networking platform had surpassed 400 million accounts and 100 million monthly active users.

"It was only a year ago that we opened public sign-up, and we couldn’t have imagined that so many people would join in just 12 months," Gundotra wrote in the post.

"While Google+ is all about creating a better experience across Google, it’s also a destination."

The figures are good news for Google but it is still has a long way to go catch up with Facebook which has over 900 million users, although around a tenth of these are thought to be fake.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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