October 31, 2014

Shutterstock Deal Gives You Free Images for Facebook Ads

Shutterstock Facebook images deal

Facebook has been actively courting small businesses for some time now. And three new features in particular should appeal to smaller companies with limited resources.

First, Facebook and Shutterstock have announced a deal that will give advertisers free access to Shutterstock’s huge library of images for use in their Facebook ads. This feature will be introduced over the next few weeks.

On the official Shutterstock Blog, Vice President David Fraga explained how the free images for Facebook ads feature will work:

“Shutterstock will be integrated directly into the Facebook ad creation tool, where advertisers will be able to test multiple images — including their own photos, visuals from their previous ads, and professional stock images from Shutterstock — across Facebook’s mobile and desktop advertising products.”

The screenshot shows how you chose images for ads, right from within Facebook.

Shutterstock images for Facebook ads

How Images for Facebook Ads Helps Small Businesses

The new arrangement will mean the most to smaller companies without the budget to hire big marketing firms.

  • You get access to over 25 million professional photos.
  • All images are licensed. You don’t have the copyright risk you would have by grabbing images off the Web without permission (something we strongly advise against).
  • Creating ads will be faster and easier now that you will have access to images for Facebook ads right within the ad creation tool.
  • Small businesses get a better look for their advertising campaigns at no greater cost.
  • And though advertisers pay nothing additional for the images, under the arrangement, Shutterstock artists will still get paid. Many of these are freelancers and small business owners themselves. This means that every time you use a Shutterstock image for your Facebook ads, you could be supporting another small business person just like you.

Of course, you can still choose your own images for Facebook ads. It’s just now you will have an additional option built right in.

Two Other Small Business Features on Facebook

In a post on the official Facebook for Business blog, the company introduced two other feature improvements.

  • Advertisers will be able to create multiple ads at once. The new feature on the Facebook ad creation tool will allow advertisers to upload multiple images from Shutterstock or previous advertisements for these ads. The feature also makes it easier to tweak ads over time to test their effectiveness, according to the post. For small businesses, it means the ability to easily create and test a more sophisticated advertising campaign without needing to hire an expensive outside agency.
  • Updates to the Pages Manager App are available for Android and iOS. They allow you to manage your business pages on Facebook more easily from a mobile device. For example, you can now upload multiple photos for a single post. The new app also lets you edit your administration sections. It even lets you add administrators to any page you manage. For small business owners, who may be managing one or more pages, this can help you stay on top of your Facebook presence while traveling or on your way to a meeting. It means you don’t have to hire someone else to do it in your absence.

Image credits: Shutterstock and Facebook announcements

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Joshua Sophy - Staff Writer


Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, covering technology and business news. He is a journalist and editor with 15 years experience in media. A former newspaper reporter and editor, Joshua also serves as President of the Board of Directors of a curling club and is editor of a regional newsletter focused on the sport of curling in the Eastern U.S.

13 Reactions

  1. Hi Josh, This looks like a valuable and helpful service for creating Facebook ads. I love the idea!

    – Anita

  2. That’s a pretty good deal considering how hard it is to find some images for your FB ads. At least, you can now do it the legal way with their partnership. That’s a lot of good images for your FB ads.

  3. I agree. Most royalty-free photography and images leave a lot to be desired.

    If one of those images or something grainy from your phone is the first impression people get of your business on Facebook … you may have lost a few future customers.

    This is definitely a great add-on. Of course, I’d check to see if your competition is taking advantage of the Shutterstock photos, too. I think the last thing you’d want to do is duplicate the images they choose.

    Then again, if you get a jump on your competition, you can make them worry about that.

  4. That sounds like an excellent arrangement and extremely useful to small businesses. Really nice add-on and perhaps incentive by making stock photography accessible to FB advertisers with smaller budgets. Great info, thanks!

  5. This is a good deal between Facebook Ads and Shutterstock. The photos are of high quality with great resolution. Thanks for sharing.

  6. As a photographer, I wonder how the artists who created all that excellent imagery will be compensated when their images are exploited for profit by FB and those who use the images to market their businesses. Remember, when the creators of those high quality images can no longer make a living by creating images then the supply of those images will dry up.
    Please know that I do not license my images to any agency, microstock or other, so this doesn’t affect me directly.

  7. And what is in this for the photographers who contribute imagesvtonshutterstock? Nothing it seems. Time to consider removing my images from their collection.

    • Hi Paul,

      That was one of our first questions, too, because we’d hate a service that did not treat the original content creators fairly.

      But we don’t think you have to worry about that here.

      If you read the article more closely — you will it says that photographers still get paid a royalty when their images are used.

      – Anita

  8. Cameron and Paul,

    No need for concern! As David Fraga, VP of Corporate Development for Shutterstock explains in his official announcement post:

    “Facebook is offering the images to advertisers at no additional cost, and each time a Facebook advertiser licenses a Shutterstock image the Shutterstock artist will earn a royalty.”

    This seems kind of like a win-win for all concerned. Paul, wouldn’t remove your photos from Shutterstock just yet!

  9. Cameron and Paul,

    I’m going to agree with Anita and Shawn here. There is definitely a royalty due to the photographer when a FB advertiser picks your photo.

    If I were a Shutterstock user, I’d be considering what images are going to be used more often in FB ads now.

    Of course, if for some unforeseen reason they don’t honor this arrangement and stiff the photographers, let us know and we’ll look into it. I see that as highly unlikely, though.

  10. This is actually a pretty big deal. Usage rights for images is very expensive – too expensive – and Facebook will pull your ads if you use pics you don’t have the rights to.

  11. Are these only available to right side ads or are images available for news feed ads?

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