Strategic Digital Communications & Training

In 2009 we cheered when Picapp announced a relationship with WordPress to enable the free embedding of news and stock photographs, including images from Getty, into blog posts.

The glee was two fold. Picapp was a source for high quality news images to illustrate blog posts easily (a simple matter of copying and pasting the embed code and selecting which size and position you wished your image to be) and secondly that this would ensure that copyright would not be accidentally breached, as all the images were licensed.

About a month or so ago they sadly announced the end of this nifty and useful service for but it remained for those using WordPress installations on their own servers and to other web publishers. Although existing embedded photographs on would continue to be supported, licensed and maintained. Two days before Christmas Picapp announced the end of this and their image search service – which enabled the selection of images for use – full-stop, via an email to publishers. Here’s how they explain it:

Dear publisher,
Couple weeks ago we shared with you news related to launching the Picapp Widget, our newest app.
With that we embarked on a new journey as a company.

As in with every new journey some things, some say “older” things, change, this is a true statement here as well.

During the past two years Picapp became a source for millions of premium, legal and free images, you have all enjoyed using our images along your posts and we enjoyed reading those posts and seeing the value our images add. Unfortunately despite the increase in usage, the demand was not sufficient to commercially justify this as our core business model, which is why we have decided to terminate the Picapp images search. Picapp will now be focusing only on distributing image-related engagement and monetization tools to publishers.

We realize that for the those of you who love using picapp solely for image licensing, these are not ‘fun’ news to hear and therefore wanted to address some of the questions you probably have reading this text:

What will happen to my already-published picapp images?
As we have committed to you before–all previously published images will remain live on your sites. Picapp plans to continue to bear the cost of content delivery and stream the images so they will appear on your site.
We are making this very clear: all previously published picapp images remain up.

Are the images I already published still validly licensed?
Beyond the technical aspect of having images continue and appear on our sites we also wanted to re-assure, as in with all picapp images, all previously published images have been fully licensed to Picapp and sub-licensed to you as our users so as long that images are used according to our terms these images can remain up.

How can I get new images?
As far as coming to Picapp to grab new images, this service will no longer be available via the site nor via the various plug ins, we have been fortunate to work with wonderful content providers, names such Zuma Press, Pacific coast News and Newscom are just a few, you can reach out to these agencies for direct licensing of images; other resources we recommend are: fotoglif, fotolia, istockphoto.

This change will take effect on December 31st, from that point on there will be no images available to publish thru

As a company we’ll continue to focus our resources and efforts on further developing and promoting the Picapp Widget, as an image engagement and monetization app for publishers, many of you have been using this Widget since we launched it and based on the feedback we got from you so far you are very excited about it!

Thank you for being a loyal user and for being part of our community, we are sad to let this valuable feature go and at the same time we are excited to continue and provide a better, more engaging, image experience to our publishers, building upon what we have learned and what you have been telling us.

The Picapp Team

Those wishing to see an example of the new Picapp widget, can look no further than our original blog post, where the embedded photographs have been automatically updated with the new widget. Which as you’ll see is rather unsightly.

6 Responses to “Picapp says goodbye to image search”

  1. Zuber

    Hi Kathryn,

    we pioneered the use of picapp images on our emerging football site. Due to the copyright restrictions imposed on all things football it worked perfectly for us and now we are back to square one.

    Can you suggest a similar service that provides the latest press images for free use on our stories?

    Perhaps we need to raise the debate as to image rights and the use of material for small sites such as our own that cannot afford the huge fees required to use images. Certainly, Picapp was onto something good…

    • Kathryn

      Hi Zuber.
      I’ve updated this post as Picapp is now asking publishers if they’d be willing to pay.
      As for alternatives, you might want to have a look at Demotix for news photos, they’re a social-photojournalism platform, and useful to be aware of anyway. Also have a look at Fotoglif. For stock photos I use stock.xchng, and it’s always worth looking through Flickr’s Creative Commons licensed material via their advanced search tool or contacting someone directly on Flickr if you’d like to use one of their photographs.

  2. Loup Dargent

    “What will happen to my already-published picapp images?

    As we have committed to you before–all previously published images will remain live on your sites. Picapp plans to continue to bear the cost of content delivery and stream the images so they will appear on your site.

    We are making this very clear: all previously published picapp images remain up.”

    I remember reading that at the time too and because of their assurance that the pics already published on our blogs/sites will stay there, I didn’t bother checking my old posts on a regular basis after that…

    Well, all previously published picapp images didn’t remain up at all. Thanks to Picapp wrongly re-assuring statement, I now have to go through all my old posts one per one and try to manually find new related pics for them. Grrrr!

  3. stone wave pot

    With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright violation?
    My site has a lot of unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my agreement. Do you know any solutions to help protect against content from being ripped off? I’d truly appreciate it.


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