‘Free Images Online’… from Getty Images?! Getty Makes Millions of Stock Photos Free to Use

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‘Free Images Online’… from Getty Images?! Getty Makes Millions of Stock Photos Free to Use

Huge news broke this evening that Getty Images, boasting a library of over 150 million high-resolution stock photos, is releasing millions of free images online. Getty Images has launched an embed tool for people to use and share select photos from the Getty Images library, which will continue to host and track them.

Getty’s motivation behind releasing this tool is to stop people from copying their images without attribution or any possibility of being paid for them. They’re taking what people are already doing and making it legal. This is tremendous news for anyone who publishes content, because this embed tool grants free access to around 40 million photos in the Getty Images library. The Getty Images library has always been built around paid content, so releasing this many free images online is a big deal.

When using the tool, the images are embedded with a backlink and attribution. They will evaluate what else to add the tool after seeing how people use it. Some options they are considering are adding advertising overlays, paid features, sharing limits and extending it to video.

This tool is not aimed at commercial content, but rather the world of social media and user-generated content where people have taken to freely repurposing copyrighted images. The idea is to educate and make more users aware of what Getty Images has to offer.

Here is a brief run down of how to use Getty Images new embed tool to find millions of free images online.

First, go here to search for an image. You may want to bookmark that link for later. When scrolling through the results, hover over the image of your choice and look for the little embed icon as seen in the example shown above.

When you click the embed icon you’re given a piece of code to paste on your website or blog. The end result looks like this:

Nice and easy, right? I hope you’re as excited about this new tool as I am. It really is a game changer for bloggers and content marketing in general. Do you see yourself using this tool in future blog posts? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section!

Matt Southern
Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing... Read Full Bio
Matt Southern
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  • rakesh2015

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for sharing this giant stock photo database website. This stock photo agency contains a really good collection of photos. But I’m troubled with the link which you’ve shared here. In this link I can’t find any HD photo to use on my website because all photos are very low resolutions. So, will you please help me to find HD photos embedded code?
    Is that possible to find the embedded code for HD Images?

    • Matt Southern

      There are some limitations with the free images. I believe you’re stuck with the resolution they give you in the embed code. If you want the high res version I think you have to pay for it, unfortunately

    • cm

      I think you just discovered another reason why Getty Images is offering the embed code. It is a great way to advertise their extensive library of HD images that are for sale.

  • Oddbjørn Sjøgren

    It’s a step in the right direction for Getty, much better than their lawsuit approach recent years. Now let’s hope they have a plan on monetizing on this model in the feature (someone say adds) and letting the photographers in on the income.

  • Monika Rathi

    Hi Matt,
    Really it’s a Huge news,
    Thanks for sharing this useful information.

  • Raghav

    Great News!! Atleast now we dont have to search “CC” licence anymore..

  • Nadine

    Not happy as a photographer 🙁

  • Alex Wu

    We have been doing embeds for about a year now, having Getty come in does excite us. Innovation in this space is definitely necessary – http://imgembed.com/

    Most importantly we use flattened jpgs to facilitate responsive designs and current CMS auto-generated thumbnails.

    We aim to be a ethical-use marketplace, so our ethos might differ slightly from corporate Getty. Photographers strictly retain their rights and we only act as a facilitator. Free use is limited to 10,000 impressions but is allowable for commercial use. Our belief is that beyond 10k impressions, you are probably making enough that the photographer should be fairly compensated. While we might suggest image pricing, that is fully up to the image rights owners, giving them full control.

    • Maria Ujvári

      Alex, great site! I uploaded my photos.:)

  • Maria Ujvári

    Thanks for sharing! I would be interested how it can effect rankings – as a strong link out from the website.

  • Matthew Killorin

    Wow this really is great. I’ll certainly use the embed tool. Thanks Matt.

  • Onuora Amobi

    Heck no!

    Why the heck would anyone want to send out hundreds or thousands of links AND hard earned traffic to the Getty?

    That makes ZERO sense to me.

    Also makes you vulnerable the day Google decides that using free images is a bad signal.

    LOL – Go ahead and say they would NEVER do that. Go ahead.

  • Edgar Davey

    While this looks like great news, Getty stands to profit big time. Through their embed feature they can collect our data and they can advertise on our behalf. Just check their terms and conditions. As with Whatsapp, I would rather pay $9.90/month to a company like YayImages.com, which respects my privacy, lets me use its images for commercial purpose and has some really good quality photos.