Chris Hannah
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The Wrong Kind of Splash

Om Malik, on Unsplash being acquired by Getty Images:

I should rephrase part of that — I was a fan up until last evening when I got an email announcing that the company was being acquired by none other than Getty Images. Hearing this was like a red hot spike through the eyes. A startup whose raison d’être was to upend draconian and amoral companies like Getty Images was going to now be part of Getty. Even after I have had time to process it, the news isn’t sitting well with me. 


Naturally, the company and co-founder Cho denied that anything will change with Unsplash. Though he did write of his buyers that, over the course of many talks, “It also became clear we shared a similar view of the world.” If you are a platform that shares values and views with Getty, you ain’t for me. I couldn’t bear to be part of a platform that is owned by such a company. I have since deleted my Unsplash account — and I know others have, as well.

— Om Malik, The Wrong Kind of Splash – On my Om

I have an Unsplash account as well, and I put quite a fair amount of my photos there. I too felt a bit uneasy when I got that email announcement. While immediately I thought about closing my account, I didn’t want to make any rash decisions, so I left it. But after reading this piece, which goes into the history of Getty Images a bit, I don’t really want to be associate with them. Therefore I will be removing my photos and deleting my account.

There’s always room for optimism, and maybe Unsplash will continue to be a great service. But there’s always change when a company is acquired. Maybe it’s not always the worst-case scenario, but there’s always change.