If you’ve blogged in the past, or are considering starting a blog, you might’ve already thought of ways to make it more appealing for your readers. One of the surefire ways to improve your blog is relevant and eye-catching pictures. However, you’ll find pretty quickly that finding free-to-use, quality pictures can be pretty hard to come by. Luckily, the biggest stock photo company has just recently changed their stance on who can use their photos.
Getty Images, the largest source of stock photos has gone ahead and removed watermarks from a large portion of their collection. Instead of charging users to remove the watermark, Getty has decided to instead transition to an open-embed program. This means anyone wishing to use a photo simply has to use the embed program offered by Getty Images, which will then append proper credits and link to the Getty page underneath the photo.
What This Means for Bloggers
It always seems like it’s a struggle to get the right pictures for you blog at the right price. For most people, the right price is almost always free. This new program is going to open up decades of photography from the Getty Images library for everyone on the internet. The code provided works easily with WordPress, Twitter, Tumblr, and other services where people commonly share photos.
It should be easier than ever now to complement your content with the perfect picture that before would’ve cost you money out of your own pocket. In addition to helping you, this new program should also benefit the photographers that are taking these pictures in theory. Getty Images is hoping that if there is an easy way to use their photos for free, people will rather use that than pirate them. By using the embed code, you’ll be directly linking to the photographers’ pages, potentially supporting them financially.
This is a large bet on Getty Images’ part, since this could lead to a dramatic decrease in revenue for them. But, if it is successful, everyone involved could be better off: bloggers using free pictures, photographers getting more credit/income, and Getty increasing control over their photos.
A drawback that bloggers should be aware of, however, is the increased control over the photos by Getty could result in some not-so-desirable consequences. The embed program they’re using is really similar to the kind YouTube uses to embed their videos in different locations. This means Getty could use the code to display ads, collect user information, and above all, they could revoke access to the photo at a later date.
Despite these things, if the service isn’t abused, and is handled appropriately by all parties involved, this could be a great thing for bloggers and photographers alike. Now get out there and find some sweet photos for your blog! Want to learn how to write a great blog? Check out Adam’s piece: How to Write a Great Blog Post Even If You’re not a “Writer”!
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