There once was a day when stock photos were useful for brochures, magazine ads, and other printed material. A deal between Shutterstock and Facebook announced Thursday shows the new online direction for the industry, though.
Under the partnership, businesses will be able to search for Shutterstock graphics through Facebook's online ad creation tool. Use of an ad means Facebook will pay Shutterstock a royalty, part of which goes to the creator of the photo or illustration, Shutterstock said. Advertisers themselves don't have to pay anything.
Advertisers will be able to choose up to six images then see which one is most effective. The technology will arrive gradually in coming weeks, Shutterstock said in a blog post.
The stock-art business has transformed dramatically in the last decade with the arrival of digital cameras and the Internet as a vehicle to sell photos worldwide. That's made for a vast supply of images from stock-photo agencies such as iStockphoto, Dreamstime, and Shutterstock -- along with even more images on the Net that online publishers often use without their creators' permission.
Expansion from print media to the Internet is an obvious direction, but it's not always an easy transition. iStockphoto and its parent company, Getty Images, angered some of its content contributors with a Google deal that let people use imagery on the Google Apps online productivity suite.