I tell clients a blog post should contain an image if possible.  Why?

  • To make the blog post more attractive and easier to read
  • When the post is shared on social media, an image generates interest
  • Images can be pinned onto Pinterest boards to increase visibility
  • An optimised image may help with search engine optimisation of the post
  • Including an image can help to get more likes and shares of the post across social media

However, many of my clients ask where they can find images. It is important to use copyright free images to avoid being sued for large amounts of money and it can become costly to buy images from iStock or similar.  Using your own image is the best solution but can be time consuming or difficult. I generally use copyright free images from stock.xchng but I was intrigued to learn about last week’s changes to Getty Images.

Getty Images have introduced an Embed tool so that it is “legal and free for anybody to share our images on websites, blogs and social media platform“.

To use the tool, you search Getty images for relevant keywords.  When you find an image that you like, roll your mouse over the image, if the image has five buttons at the bottom with this button embed button on the right, you can use the image with no copyright issues so long as you follow the following steps:

Click the button and copy the code that you are given.

embed code

To include the code in your post, you will need to click on the HTML source code for your post.  In WordPress, you can find this by clicking the Text tab at the top right hand corner of the post.

Paste the copied code into the appropriate place in your post.  To change the size of the image, change the width and height numbers in the code.  Change back to the Visual version of your post to complete the text.  Note the image is not shown until you publish or preview the post – you will probably see a yellow box.

Potential Issues with Using Getty Images

Sounds great but like any free service, you need to be aware of the potential issues.

1. The images cannot be used for “commercial use”.  The actual wording is

You may only use embedded Getty Images Content for editorial purposes (meaning relating to events that are newsworthy or of public interest).

Embedded Getty Images Content may not be used:

(a) for any commercial purpose (for example, in advertising, promotions or merchandising) or to suggest endorsement or sponsorship;

(b) in violation of any stated restriction;

(c) in a defamatory, pornographic or otherwise unlawful manner; or

(d) outside of the context of the Embedded Viewer

I would take this to mean that I can use a Getty image in blog posts to illustrate an opinion but not to sell a product or service.  So I wouldn’t use an embed image from Getty as a thumbnail for one of my e-learning courses for example, but can include them in a blog post.

2. What Next

The terms and conditions also say

Getty Images (or third parties acting on its behalf) may collect data related to use of the Embedded Viewer and embedded Getty Images Content, and reserves the right to place advertisements in the Embedded Viewer or otherwise monetise its use without any compensation to you.

So Getty may show adverts before showing the image in a similar way to YouTube.

3. Longevity

Getty can pull an image at a moment’s notice. So your blog post could be left with an empty space if you don’t keep a close eye on what is going on.

I’m not sure whether I will use many Getty images, they aren’t so easy to position on the post as a standard image and I am concerned about the long term effects.  One to keep an eye on perhaps – what do you think?