Tuesday, April 20, 2021
HomePc and MobilesGetty Images Acquires Unsplash, With Promise to Keep Free Content Model

Getty Images Acquires Unsplash, With Promise to Keep Free Content Model

Unsplash will continue to operate as an independent brand, and its images will remain free-to-use.

The Unsplash website open on a tablet

One of the most active debates in the creative world is whether or not quality art, photography, animation, music, etc. should be made accessible to everyone. Some people argue that offering quality work for free means that less people will be willing to pay for it, effectively slowing the art business and lowering pay rates.

So the existence of Unsplash, one of the most popular free stock photography websites, is something that not all creatives are onboard with. Unsplash is definitely here to stay though, especially now that it has access to Getty Images’ resources.

Getty Images Acquires Free Image Site Unsplash

Mikael Cho, co-founder and CEO of free image website Unsplash, has announced via a blog post that the site is being acquired by media company Getty Images.

If you’re a frequent stock photo user, you might be concerned. Getty Images is known for being providing incredible photographs, but at a price. On the other hand, Unsplash allows you to save images for any purpose without needing to credit the photographer (though Unsplash shows a notice with every download encouraging you to do so).

Unsplash website open on a Macbook laptop

Don’t worry, the acquisition does not mean that Unsplash is closing or that its images will no longer be free.

In fact, Cho acknowledges that it’s very common for a tech company to get bought only to subsequently be shut down. He emphasizes that Unsplash will continue to operate as it always has, it’s just now a division of Getty Images.

The entire Unsplash team will be staying and building Unsplash in the direction we have been. The main difference now [after the acquisition] is we have access to the resources and experience of Getty Images to help accelerate our plans to create the world’s most useful visual asset library.

The acquisition also changes nothing about photos uploaded to Unsplash—they are not owned by Getty Images, and they are still under the Unsplash license:

  • Can be downloaded and used at no cost
  • Can be used for commercial and non-commercial purposes
  • No permission or attribution needed

Cho continues his post by contrasting Unsplash’s achievements with where and how the site began. Unsplash started eight years ago as a Tumblr blog, and now it’s hosting over two million high-resolution images that have been downloaded over three billion times.

Related: What It Takes to Make Money Selling Stock Photos

Unsplash to Continue to Push the “Impact of Imagery”

Now that Unsplash has access to more resources, Cho writes that the company’s future plans will unfold faster than expected. We should expect new things to come for the free image site, its business-focused extension (Unsplash for Brands), and its portfolio/job search platform (Unsplash Hire).

Want to know more about the acquisition? You can check out Unsplash’s FAQ, or directly contact the company’s team via email (support@unsplash.com) or Slack.

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