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Unsplash+ Plus : Not Everything on Unsplash is Free, You Need to Pay

Everyone knows Unsplash for what it does. Unsplash is ground broke online image circulation and sharing platform founded by Mikael Cho in 2013. And the famous is now introduced their premium paid plan, which needs a monthly subscription to access.


The founder Mikael Cho along with his four friends was sitting their small office, and they were looking for an image for their company websites homepage named But the appropriate image, they couldn't find it easily. Then was they realized that online stock image providers are charging high rates even for simple image.
So Mikael's team decides to hire a photographer to shoot the image they wanted. What the team did after was, they opened a blog in tumblr named Unsplash, and they freely distributed the images they took, for the public.

That decision turned the game into next level, primordial Unsplash, the tumblr blog with Dropbox links of High-Res images got over million views within several months. So the continued updating the blog as per the demand, their slogan was "high resolution photos for your website: 10 photos in 10 days". The post with the slogan on several platforms like Ycombinator, HackerNews went viral. On the launch day they got 30K subscribers for their blog. Within an year they got 10 million downloads. Then started off as an own company.

Business Model of  Unsplash was best internet entrepreneurship happened in previous decade, its was the best option compared others and had the open vision. When it was launched as an independent website, it almost broke the internet. Other parallel paid image distributions like Shutterstock, Getty images..etc were in confusion. Unsplash opened a portal to freely available images for various use cases. Free licenses generally will be strings attached ones or creative commons. unlike other licenses Unsplash chose CC0 license, which is generally known as "no copyright" , "no strings" "genuine free" license. this changed the culture of internet on various levels in terms of image usage. Personal websites are started getting enough images for their niche, content creators eager to choose from variety of images in same keywords, high resolution images aren't even a problem after Unsplash. Even presses and medias are also well attracted to to the work, even outside the internet.

The business model of Unsplash was clean, they team was very object centric, and they have a vision.

why Unsplash is built, is to overcome the barriers of high priced imaging of internet, with hassle free license. after growing a lot from million image asset to billion image assets and downloading, Unsplash never forgot from where they came from and why they built one.

What the Unsplash model did was, they created a medium for photographers around the world to find and explore each other. In a sense it was a photographic social networking. This idea changed the internet photography culture, what binding photographers in other communities was chaining, highly old fashioned and sites like 500px are least freedom with cost involved. Paid sites like Getty images, Shutterstock, Dreamstime are consumer nets with shark mouths. Unsplash never limited provision of exchanging images, and it pushed to maximum. photographers can show their creativity, it will get loved and upvoted and may comes in most downloaded list, people and enthusiasts can follow, request and buy them a coffee. All a photographer wants to do is to give their creative pictures to the public, to the internet.

On May 27, 2015 Unsplash turned 2 and hits 30 million downloads from 15 thousand photos, by 8 thousand photographers. From there , Unsplash started conducting world wide campaigns. As it grows, teams came up with more and more features, one of that was popular Unsplash API, which allows third party applications or services can seamlessly integrate with what Unsplash offers. It Includes many brand partnerships  from graphic designing platforms like Canva, Figma etc to Chrome extensions, Apple TV integrations  and WordPress.

🎂 Unsplash turned 3 on May 27, 2016 Approaches 100 million downloads. In 3 years, over 8.8 billion photos were viewed on Unsplash. And downloaded 92 million times. By the time of December 1, 2016 Unsplash hits 1 billion photos viewed per month. And Unsplash API serving over 300M+ requests/month to over 7,000 developers including Trello, InVision, and Weebly. Later on Unsplash awards has been introduces, which encourages the creators for their artistry and dedication

Unsplash pushed internet photography to the maximum by the time. it functioned as medium for photographic collaborations. By the time Unsplash API started partnering account for 30 percent of the total distribution power of Unsplash. Partners include Medium, Trello, FiftyThree, Product Hunt, Adobe, Google, Ghost, and Tencent, BuzzFeed, Squarespace.

Later on Prominent organizations like SpaceX, NewYork Public Library, Nasa, Library of Congress, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Photo Library, Europeana Collections, Birmingham Museums Trust, United Nations Geological Survey, McGill Library, Museums Victoria, Boston public Library,  British National Library joined Unsplash, which changed the whole game of Unsplash, even United Nations has an account on Unsplash. On December 10, 2019, Unsplash Introduced Unsplash for Brands, where Unsplash started advertising.

On July 30, 2020 🚀 Unsplash covered 2 milestones, 2 million contributions from 200k global contributors. What made Unsplash even more beautiful is that they released dataset of images. It includes rich metadata like  the popularity and impact of various camera makes, models, lenses, focal lengths, and more. and it also combined tens of millions of keywords to understand image beauty and quality with image popularity generated across the platform. On August 6, 2020 Unsplash Open sourced Unsplash's dataset. Which is the most complete high-quality open image dataset ever, free for anyone to use to further research in machine learning, image quality, search engines, and more.

On January 7, 2021 Unsplash Introduced Unsplash Hire. a more direct way to connect and work with Unsplash contributors to create world-class images. Whether it’s to find the perfect photographer for your event or to create new images for your company’s social media accounts, you can now connect easily on Unsplash, Said Unsplash. Later on they introduced visual search, for reverse image searching.

Unsplash + and Getty Images

This is the day where Unsplash's journey was interrupted. On March 30, 2021 Unsplash is acquired y worlds leading stock photographic company, Gettyimages, otherwise known as iStock. It was clear that Getty is disturbed by Unsplash and its growth. So the best move was to purchase the vision, on the go the company. After the acquisition, what followers thought was, the company will suddenly change the plans. But happened was the company Getty continued on the path which Mikael paved.
Continuing the same state, after 1 year and several months, on October, 5, 2022 company introduced Unsplash, a subscription model for some part of the Unsplash.