Adobe dropped a bit of a surprise on the design world with the announcement that it is shutting down its stock photo service. You know… Adobe Stock Photos? That stock photo service you didn’t use because you already have an iStockPhoto account? Yeah, that’s the one.
First, what that means for anyone who really is using Adobe Stock Photos: Finish all of your image searches and Comp downloads before March 3, 2008. You can still purchase images for the Comps you have already downloaded up through March 31, but you are pretty much out of luck after that unless you want to go through the hassle of using Adobe’s Image ID Converter to figure out which company the image really came from.
Now for my take on the whole Adobe Stock Photos thing: Adobe was jumping into a market that iStockPhoto and Getty Images already established and really couldn’t gain the marketshare needed to make the new service viable. Adobe launched its stock photo service back in 2005 when Creative Suite 2 rolled out, but I honestly can’t think of a time when I found an image there that I really needed — iStockPhoto has always had what I need, and my guess is that I’m not alone.
I’m sure there were people and companies that relied on Adobe Stock Photos, and accessing the service from Adobe Bridge was probably really convenient for them. My Jedi instincts tell me, however, that there just weren’t enough of them to make the money Adobe needed to keep the service alive.
Even though I’m sure Adobe sank a butt-load of money into making Adobe Stock Photos work, I’m actually glad it is going away. No, not because it was lame, stupid, too expensive, or whatever else you may think caused the service to tank. I’m glad because now Adobe can take the resources it was dumping into the service and redirect those into its applications. I much prefer the idea of Adobe making better applications for me instead of trying to keep track of a database full of images that I don’t want.
The FAQ on the Adobe Stock Photos shut down says that Adobe made the move so it could “concentrate its efforts in other areas.” Sounds good to me.
Let iStockPhoto and Getty Images do what they do best, and let Adobe do what it does best: make the apps to manipulate the images iStockPhoto sells.