by UFSocial contributor Ann Peterson
In early 2012, Google discontinued its photo editing platform, Piknik, and left sixty million users looking for a new photo editor. Several of Piknik’s employees left Google to establish a new and improved photo editing website. Introduced in April 2012, PicMonkey currently has millions of users and hundreds of thousands of paid subscribers in more than 190 countries. It has been named an affordable online service for startups and was one of the top 100 websites of 2013.
What is PicMonkey?
PicMonkey is a web-based photo editing, graphic design and collage creation tool. Images can be edited and enhanced with photo effects, filters and text. The editor offers a number of features seen in the image below:
Social media content creators can use PicMonkey in a variety of ways. For example, the editor can be used to modify existing images or build a design from scratch. See the short video below for a demonstration on how to construct an Instagram post using PicMonkey’s collage creator and photo editor:
The PicMonkey blog offers creation inspiration with ideas specific to business, branding and social media. Tips (which includes several videos) show how to create a watermark or use your own fonts. There are tutorials offering step-by-step instructions to design a Facebook cover photo or make the most of your LinkedIn profile picture.
Most of PicMonkey’s features and editing tools are free. Paid upgrades are available at two levels — premium and supremium, as outlined below. On the website, these premium features are denoted with a crown icon. PicMonkey offers a free 7-day trial of its premium package.
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Ease of use
- Many free tools/features
- Reasonably-priced upgrades
- Editing can be slow when working with a large file
- Alignment feature/gridlines would be helpful
In 2016, PicMonkey launched a free mobile app, which simplifies the most popular elements of the web version. Basic editing features include text, drawing and stickers. Filters and effects can be added and photos can be adjusted (brightness, contrast, clarity). Images may be cropped to sizes specific to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Premium or supremium users can access their Hub photos using the app.
To show you how easy PicMonkey is to use, my fourth grade students have been creating “spine poetry” during library classes. When their book stacks are finished, I take a photo on my phone (pictured left). We then take a minute to put photos into the PicMonkey app and add an effect (Orton) and some text (Special Elite). With a couple edits, the image on the right is ready to take its place in a slideshow or be featured on one of our social media channels.
PicMonkey on Social Media