Is Unsplash still free? (November 2022)
Unsplash+ (know as Unsplash Plus) is a new premium subscription service by one of the largest stock imagery libraries on the web.
For those of you already familiar with Unsplash, you’ll already know that it is often the go-to resource for free imagery to use in creative projects & websites. With over 4.2 million images in its library, all of which are contributed by photographs from across the globe, it has become an incredibly powerful resource.
And best of all, it has been entirely free
Well, that is up until now.
Whilst you are still able to access millions of images that come with a royalty free license, Unsplash Plus is a new subscription service that provides unlimited, high-quality access to premium imagery – and it is no surprise that some of the best images on Unsplash have started to appear in this exclusive collection.
Read our Unsplash Plus review below to help you decide whether Unsplash+ is worth it.
What makes Unsplash Plus different?
I first came across Unsplash Plus at the end of October 2022 when I noticed that certain images had a ‘Unsplash+’ label and a watermark embedded over the photograph. Needless to say I quickly investigated, as Getty Images (who acquired Unsplash in March 2021) didn’t seem to make a big announcement about this new service (despite me thinking I do a pretty good job of keeping abreast of the latest tech news!).
Unsplash Plus differentiates itself from its standard offering by charging users to access premium imagery, thus removing the watermarks from photographs.
What can I expect from Unsplash+?
First off, once you purchase a subscription, you get access to new, members-only content that is updated monthly. With this you benefit from unlimited royalty-free downloads and have enhanced legal protections regarding the licensing and use of imagery (known as ‘Unsplash+ License’).
As you might expect, some of the best imagery on Unsplash has migrated into Unsplash Plus territory, which certainly comes as no surprise, as with similar services, all the best content is kept behind a paywall.
How much does Unsplash Plus cost?
Well, it might not be as expensive as you anticipated.
At the time of writing, Unsplash Plus is available for just £6/month ($7/month) on an annual subscription. Unsplash have stated that this is a limited offer and represents a massive 62% off their regular annual pricing. As yet, we have no indication as to when this offer will be removed or changed, but I suspect that if the uptake is strong, the offer will be watered down.
Has anyone paid for Unsplash plus?
The short answer is that I have no idea as yet, but expect Getty Images to release some preliminary data next year.
However, having dug into Unsplash Plus a little further, I decided to subscribe, so I know that they have at least one user on their books…
Is Unsplash Plus worth it?
It will take some time to fully understand whether Unsplash+ is worth the money but my initial thoughts are that at the introductory price of just £72/year, it represents exceptionally good value for money.
I mean, getting hold of high-quality, royalty free imagery can be challenging if you need to keep within a budget. And Unsplash has been my go-to resource for years, so it makes a lot of sense to pay a small premium to get access to new imagery.
However, if you head to Unsplash today you will still find millions of incredible images that you can access for free and use in your projects. In fact, some of the images which I think are certainly worth a premium price are not in Unsplash Plus, so it’s not like we’re being forced to stump some cash just yet… but that may well change.
My final thoughts on Unsplash
Unsplash is a powerhouse; a great example of how the internet has revolutionised and democratised access to resources that previously were preserve of high-budget players. It has allowed millions of designers, professionals and hobbyists to find amazing imagery.
It has also enabled 10,000’s of incredibly talented photographers to showcase their work and build their own portfolio and brand. I remain eternally grateful for their contributions.
Whilst there are no signs of the free service disappearing anytime soon, I suspect that in time it will become that much harder to justify remaining a non-paying customer, particularly if Unsplash keep the cost of their premium service as a level that is affordable for most users.
All imagery used in this article is taken from Unsplash and can be accessed directly by clicking the images (which are linked to source).
About the Author
Iain Beaumont is the Founder and owner of VUMO Digital, a web design and eCommerce agency based in Oxford.
After graduating from the University of Edinburgh in 2004, Iain joined the British Army before heading into the City and working for a US Investment Bank.
With a huge interest in tech development, and from running several successful eCommerce stores himself, Iain now shares his expertise through his articles on the VUMO website.
About VUMO Digital
VUMO Digital work internationally, supporting clients from around the globe to deliver exceptional eCommerce experiences.
Whilst we major in eCommerce, we cover all aspects of brand design, marketing & advertising, right through to SEO development and custom integrations.
But we also go further.
eCommerce is not just about a slick website and that’s why we also look at how our work can seamlessly mesh into your existing operational process and identify avenues where we can help further optimise your online business.