2 months news in one post: (I think twitter is having an effect on my news posts, more regular updates next month!)

Both bigstockphoto (now known as bigstock) and 123rf launched new site designs, this was followed by featurepics who also came up with a clean new design. I was planning an article which has been partly blown out of the water now "Which microstock sites are stagnating?" or something along those lines. Of course the community pessimists will always have their on running debate on 'who will be next to close'. Some agencies gradually refine their sites so that they are consistently up-to-date and streamlined, while some others have not changed in years and are (or were!) well over due. The updates certainly show a commitment from the agencies involved in their business (it also takes way that slightly uneasy feeling that no one is showing these sites any love.... Does it now mean that we have to refer to BSP as "BS"? ;)

Pixmac announced the release of their visual similarity search tool which allows buyers to find images which feature similar content or colours to any image they see on the site. It seems to work quite well, and if you select an obscure image to match it seems to (?) fall back to some kind of keyword or category matching instead. Pixmac also updated their affiliate program with increased rewards for referring photo buyers.

Lookstat announced an open beta of their new stats system (to be launched to the public soon), while only spending half an hour or so looking at the upgrades I can see there are some really useful new graphs and statistics of figures like your sell through rate and various return per image calculations based on different rules. detailed review via mystockphoto.org

Polylooks announced a new subscription plan and brief exclusive upload incentive for photographers (now ended).

'Free site' Photoxpress started selling (fotolia reselling) images and also monetising their free collection with a low cost subscription option allowing extra downloads. A few people wrote it was a shakeup for the microstock world with bargain subscriptions (look a little deeper and you will see prices are not significantly different), others were slightly confused that people were getting charged for 'donated images'. more about photoxpress

photo marketplace Clustshot changed their payment system so that photographers are paid directly by buyers via paypal, cluster shot now request their commission (sales charges) in arrears from photographers when their balance reaches 10 dollars.

isyndica modified their affiliate program to reward photographers who refer other photographers to the service, you can now earn cash instead of just credits. new subscriptions earn you 10 to 16% of the subscription value, you can either cash this when your earnings reach $50 or convert it into upload credits for your own images. http://www.isyndica.com/affiliate for more info.

Vivozoom offered a second tier to their affiliate program allowing you to refer friends (i.e. someone who you know the email address of) via a discount coupon. your referrer gets a 20% discount on their purchase and you earn 15% commission. more info, microstockdiaries also reported that Tony Stone joined vivozoom

iStockphoto celebrated 10 years online with a mini site istock10.com various competitions and contributor events.

Startup agency fotomind closed their doors (well they never did quite fully open - can't remember if they left beta or not) in the middle of April. In a surprise move isyndica stepped in (press release) and offered to pay unpaid commissions (as I understand it the offer is not available retrospectively) so that contributors who had not earned enough money to be paid out could receive a credit into their isyndica accounts.

And finally on a much more fun note shutterstock launched a travel photo contest, for details visit their site at shutterstock.com/photosafaricontest. Open to US residents until 12th may, related thread via microstockgroup



AUGUSTO CABRAL (not verified) on Sun, 2010-05-16 12:55
I'm having been able to enter Vivozoom Contributor link for a week now... Wonder what's going on
Steve Gibson's picture

contact them

Steve Gibson on Tue, 2010-05-18 00:49
I uploaded a batch 5 days ago was fine, and ive just logged into http://submit.vivozoom.com/ now and all still seems well? if you still can't log in then I'd send them a message  

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