A popular photo service for bloggers and webmasters-alike ceased image-sharing operations earlier this month and it has created a huge blow to how royalty free images are found and used online.
The service even has the ability for webmasters to make money with their revenue sharing program, but now it’ll be harder to earn anything.
Picapp changed last year when it required users to sign up for an account to be able to embed photos. Previously, you could just go to their website without registering and embed away. Shortly after they introduced the members section, they looked at their business model again and decided it wasn’t worth their time anymore to continue to offer bloggers free access to the photos they make available through their relationships with news and photo agencies.
In late December, they sent out an e-mail stating the service would shut down on January 1, 2011. It was more like January 3 when they removed the search function to scan their site for new images. They soon rolled out a widget though, which enables you to embed a group of photos in a gallery, albeit thumbnails that link to larger versions of the same photos.
Many have complained since the service stopped offering free photos and the company appears to be listening. A few weeks ago they sent out a survey asking if users would be willing to pay a monthly free to gain access again to news and stock photos for their sites. Of course I said I would gladly pay — how much is another story. Personally, I’d be comfortable with shelling out between $10 and $20 a month to use a few images to help jazz up posts.
Hopefully they listen to their audience and come back with a better and improved service to continue offering great content. Dealing with a photo agency yourself could cost you hundreds for the rights to publish a couple photos. Picapp acted as the middle man and dealt with that for you, creating an opportunity for photos to be freely shared and accessible to bloggers.
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