Google has acquired Nik Software, a photography first mobile app developer, and, along with that, picked up Snapseed. It doesn't have the name recognition or user base of Instagram, but there is a dedicated following.
With Instagram going to Facebook for $1 billion earlier this year, it looks like Google's play here is for functionality, as Nik has a good amount of various photo app capabilities. And it's a pretty smart play because photogs are loving them some Google+.
Snapseed won the Best Mobile Photo App 2012 from the Technical Image Press Association, mostly for offering "true photographic choice of image, effects color, toning, framing and sharpness of image."
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Overall, Nik Software has won more than industry awards since they began in 1995 -- among them the 2011 iPad App of the Year award.
With groups like "1,500 Kickass Photographers on Google+" (surfaced in Megahn Kelly's article), the social platform is probably looking to capitalize on a differentiator from Facebook. Likely, the software will be used to inform Google's overall photo functionality.