Last week Getty Images, the world’s largest image library, announced that they were making the majority of their catalogue available as free embeds. This has led to all sorts of interesting debate about creative rights and the value of attribution; but much less discussion about what this might mean for social media and content marketers.I suspect that there are some clear limitations that prevent Getty’s move being quite as valuable as we might have hoped.
Here’s how it’s supposed to work. Let’s say I need a photo of Pete and Dud. I go to Getty, grab the embed code, paste it into my post and hey presto magico:
Nice, eh? But there are two big limitations that might prevent this from being really useful.
Can’t use on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+
It should already be obvious to some of you of course, but we can’t use embed codes on most social platforms. There
These embeds only really work on blogs. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but it’s a limitation.
Can’t be used as Open Graph image or Twitter Card image
One of the major reasons we like images on our blog posts is to create visual interest and stand out when the post is shared through social platforms. Facebook’s
og:image and Twitter’s
twitter:image:src let us choose images that work well to capture attention and deliver clicks.
Because the photo of Pete & Dud is an embed, I can’t use it as the featured image, and it can’t be displayed when shared. Oh, and it can’t be Pinned either.
Neither of these issues should prevent us from thinking up creative ways to use the Getty library, of course. I’m just pointing out — in my gloomy way — that it’s not as exciting as we might have hoped.