Announcements · March 30, 2021

Unsplash is being acquired by Getty Images

Mikael Cho
Mikael Cho

I’m excited to share Unsplash is being acquired by Getty Images today.

The reason I’m excited about this acquisition is because it’s not goodbye, it’s about acceleration.

This is not one of those tech acquisitions where the company is bought to be shut down. Unsplash will continue to operate as a standalone brand and division of Getty Images. The entire Unsplash team will be staying and building Unsplash in the direction we have been. The main difference now 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.

In 2016, we first met the Getty Images team. We weren’t sure they would see the world the same way we did given their business was largely built on licensing. Over years of conversations, however, we learned about the level of respect they had for the Unsplash community and the rights of creators to choose how and where their imagery is made available. Craig Peters, Getty Images CEO, told me, “We have so much admiration for Unsplash. What you’re doing for creativity and what you’ve built is incredible.”

It also became clear we shared a similar view of the world. The impact of imagery has never been greater and will only become greater in the future. And we both aim to push that impact further than anyone has ever done before.

After interacting with the team at Getty Images more and better understanding their long-term vision, we realized we shared so much alignment that going at this together could be much more impactful than going at it separately.

What’s to come

In the last year, Unsplash passed two billion image downloads (and just passed three billion), Unsplash for Brands tripled in size, and we recently launched Unsplash Hire.

In partnership with Getty Images, we’ll be accelerating our plans on each of these. We’ve identified ways we can grow faster together, collaborate more with brands, and create many more opportunities for creative talent.

We’ll be hiring and adding resources to bring each of these parts of Unsplash to full bloom much quicker than we could have done alone.

So yes, we are excited for what’s to come. It’s been nearly eight years since Unsplash began as a Tumblr blog with ten images. Since then, Unsplash grew into something greater than we ever could have imagined.

There are now over two million high quality, high-resolution images on Unsplash that have been contributed by people from every country. The number of creative works that have been enabled by these visuals is in the billions. It’s impossible to estimate the collective impact but from what we've seen and the stories we've heard, images on Unsplash are fundamental to helping so many people make positive things happen.

It’s hard to say the Unsplash community merely created a dent in the universe. It feels more like you've helped create an entire new universe.

With the added resources and support, we’re looking forward to creating so much more for you and with you.

Mikael and the Unsplash team

Questions about the acquisition? Read our FAQ

Share article