EyeEm – the microstock instagram

EyeEm screenshot
EyeEm – I got some more photos there in the meantime

Have you heard of EyeEm? Some call it the German or European Instagram. Guess this explains already a lot. Similar to Instagram, EyeEm is a online community to share photos. The focus is also on mobile, so they provide a nifty app for the smartphone where you can browse around and pimp up the photos you took with some filters and such. They even have an iPad app, something Instagram is not offering in the moment.

The big distinction though is that EyeEm also offers a commercial platform and acts as a microstock agency. Users are able to add their photos to the EyeEm market. Once there, the EyeEm team will review the images and check if a model or property release is required to commercialize it, which is is the case if images show identifiable persons, company logos or certain buildings. Some of the images might also be “promoted” into the EyeEm Collection, which will show them to a larger audience, as EyeEms has partnerships with other agencies, like Getty or Alamy. The auto-tagging feature helps that your photo will be found by interested parties; it works surprisingly good. All these commercial features are optional and revokable and you always remain the copyright holder of  your work.

The revenue of images will be shared 50:50 between you and EyeEm – prices start as low as $20 and go up to $250.

My experience

I’ve joined EyeEm a couple of weeks ago and uploaded a bunch of photos since. I like the look and feel of the iPhone and the iPad app, however I never used the editing function, so I can’t really say something about it. I especially like the iPad version, which gives photos more place and makes browsing on the couch a great experience. What I don’t like so much is that people and collections you follow are a bit hidden, so you do not directly see what happened recently; it makes you feel less connected to the people you follow compared to Instagram. It’s also not so easy to find photographers which are maybe not as prominent yet, as there is no real discovery mode. Compared to Instagram the community is much smaller, so you’ll probably end up with less likes and followers. However I feel that EyeEm is not yet swamped by bots and like-addicts, which gives the likes a better value.

So from 51 images I uploaded, 32 are eligible for commercial purposes. 25 of them made it into the collection. The review process usually took a couple of days for me. Have I sold a photo yet – no! However, this is not too surprising if you look at the amount of photos which are available in the micro-stock market in general. Either you have really outstanding photos in terms of quality or the subject, or you are lucky if your photo has been selected from 50 similar. So I don’t feel too disappointed.

I mentioned before that flickr lost a lot of my interest recently. EyeEm is definitely getting some of that in the moment. There is some great potential in it, but I think the EyeEm team has to optimize some functionalities. If you are interested now, head over there and have a look at my account.

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