While looking at my own images on Shutterstock, I noticed the Shutterstock algorithm was suggesting my photos as “similar” images. I thought it was a bug on the Shutterstock website until I noticed that others had downloaded my photos from other sites then uploaded them to Shutterstock. Shutterstock’s similar photos algorithm then noticed this and suggested the stolen photos along with my photos.
Shutterstock has been one of the world’s leading microstock agencies for more than a decade now. Like other microstock sites their business model is a simple one. Sell a lot of image licenses very inexpensively, focusing on quantity and bulk sales. For many photographers, that’s not always been an ideal situation. A vast archive of images leaves little room for yours to be noticed.
They want to help improve things, though, with the release of a new plugin for Adobe Photoshop. This plugin allows users to search images to test out watermarked images quickly and easily in their designs. It also suggests similar images, features curated content. It also has buttons to be able to easily license images once you know they work for you, all without leaving Photoshop.