February 04, 2008

Adobe Stock Photos to be discontinued

Adobe has announced Adobe Stock Photos, the service integrated into Adobe Bridge, will be discontinued as of April 1, 2008.  An FAQ is posted to address common questions (especially if you’re an ASP user), and there are uninstallers for Mac and Windows that let you remove ASP from Bridge if you’d like.

The FAQ is very light on the rationale for the decision, but in an interview with StockAsylum’s Ron Rovtar (subscription required for part of it), Adobe director James Alexander says, "We thought we went to market with a set of features and functionality that were going to improve workflow.  It was just not as compelling as we thought it was going to be."

I don’t have a lot of additional context to offer, other than to say that we’re working hard to make Photoshop, Bridge, and the other Creative Suite apps much more easily extensible so that they can support whatever services customers find useful–whether from Adobe or from third parties.

Posted by John Nack at 12:27 PM on February 04, 2008

Comments

  • letterminded — 1:35 PM on February 04, 2008

    huurah! and to add to this- could adobe add more flexible installers for it’s apps? e.g. i’ve been manually castrating stock photo, adobe online services from bridge for years already – i don’t like them, i don’t need them and i prefer faster startup and less bloat (btw as for photoshop- i always disable digimarc plugins which also- makes files open bit faster).
    ..why couldn’t you just implement (or actually bring it back as such options existed pre-creative suite ages) add/remove checkmarks in installers?
    ..and make your patchers/updaters bit more inteligent since currently they’re so picky that fails even if i move never used adobe help viewer into utilities folder..
    wouldn’t that be for a better world? (..and workflow?) ;)

  • Chris Charlton — 1:43 PM on February 04, 2008

    I’ve seen 3rd-party stock (media) sites pulling off Bridge integration. I think that is neat and makes sense.

  • stacy — 2:07 PM on February 04, 2008

    Wow. What a bum deal. I actually liked the stock photos feature. I never actually used any of them, but I did use them as inspiration.
    I guess they can’t collect money on inspiration :)

  • Fazal Majid — 2:48 PM on February 04, 2008

    Good riddance. Like many people I found Adobe’s insistence on spamming the UI (and my Documents directory) with its unwanted commercial tie-ins incredibly annoying. We pay good money for PS and CS3, stop pushing ancillary services as if it were some sort of free adware.
    I also second Chris’s recommendation – I want a Preferences pane to allow me to disable any plug-in I want. Currently my only recourse is to go to the directory and delete all that crap, which of course breaks the updater, at least for other CS3 apps like Illustrator.

  • Brett — 4:10 PM on February 04, 2008

    I’d suggest to the Adobe Team to implement a Flickr search within Bridge.
    Now that would be awesome! It would display the images as you have the settings in your Bridge with all the info underneath it and you could select the resolution and hit “download” and see the progress bar underneath the image and some kind of “local on disk”-icon that indicates it’s downloaded and on your disk.
    Please John, forward my message to your Adobe Bridge developers.
    Thanks!

  • Mike — 4:36 PM on February 04, 2008

    I never understood why Adobe wanted to get into the Stock Photography business. It just always seemed off message and off brand to me.
    I echo the sentiments that I don’t like being “sold to” in an app. I paid a lot of money for.

  • Colin Smith — 4:38 PM on February 04, 2008

    A flickr search would be horrid! Then people will find another way to rip off the hard work of others thinking they have right to it (google images) because they found it through a search box.

  • Brett — 6:32 PM on February 04, 2008

    Colin,
    oh please!
    As if people can’t just already go to flickr.com to get the images. A Bridge implementation would only speed up the process and Bridge is just a tool anyway.
    The people who post hi-res images on flickr automatically give up certain rights and they do it out of their own interest to share with the community & internet. That’s exactly why youtube is successful and flickr too.
    The pro’s who post professional work on flickr either only upload a very small version (often not even downloadable and if you try it’s only an empty file called spaceball.gif or something like that) or watermarked.
    What’s wrong with sharing non-pro photos on flickr that can be used by others? People do it voluntary. That’s what flickr is there for. Now i bet nobody creative or professional would just take an image from flickr as it is and claim it as theirs. But what it’s great for is if let’s say you want to visualize an idea to somebody and you’re looking for a tree that you could quickly download from flickr to use in the mockup. And so on.

  • Scott Graham — 8:42 PM on February 04, 2008

    re the uninstaller on Mac
    I don’t know what it does, but it says that it is installing a zillion files.
    And it leaves a hand full of directories, more than the notes say, AND the app. So what does it do?
    Then trying to get rid of the left overs, I find in Bridge prefs that the Stock Photos script has to be turned on to get a good uninstall.
    A little late one might say. Instructions one might foolishly ask?
    and of course once again we have an “installer” with a totally meaningless name. I thought that we had gotten past that.
    Love CS3 and Adobe though.
    :) Scott

  • Eric Peacock — 1:15 AM on February 05, 2008

    I’m glad this is happening since it always felt like Adobe was trying too hard to be the kitchen sink. Bridge isn’t well accepted by most designers I try to sell it too – partially because it’s slow but also because I think they see the forced portal aspect of it as negative. I do think the search history of Adobe Stock Photos was nice, but that was it. I never used it otherwise.
    Though the Bridge feature was handled differently as a conduit for third-parties, this isn’t the first time Adobe has tried to expand to photography. Years ago Adobe sold stock photography collections on CD-ROM. This always seemed a bit of a digression from the core mission as a maker of tools, not content. We still own a few of those collections where I work. Around the bubble burst this arm of the company was sold off to someone else.
    The only way a Flickr search would be fair is if it honored Creative Commons tagged content that allowed open usage – which you’ll see there isn’t a lot of that would make sense for a designer. But Flickr isn’t for others to profit from – however sites like Stock Xchange are (you get for what you pay for).

  • Ernie Longmire — 1:28 PM on February 05, 2008

    I’m a little befuddled by the concept of an “unfair” Flickr search. It would be nice if a Bridge-hosted Flickr search supported filtering by Creative Commons status, and it would be honorable for it to default to only searching content that’s explicitly licensed for reuse, but how is it “unfair” to design a tool that can search the whole damn site regardless of license? If Flickr didn’t want you to use the APIs they wouldn’t have published them in the first place.

  • imajes — 5:34 AM on February 06, 2008

    I’ll be glad to see that back of useless bloatware that I never use. It’s not the only stuff I’d like to ditch. Though I’ve gone a complete blank on the name of the software I never use!
    Brett – “The people who post hi-res images on flickr automatically give up certain rights”
    Not their copyright. Although idiots continue to think anything online is fair game to steal.
    Brett – “What’s wrong with sharing non-pro photos on flickr that can be used by others? People do it voluntary. That’s what flickr is there for. Now i bet nobody creative or professional would just take an image from flickr as it is and claim it as theirs.”
    Duh, how naive are you? It certainly does happen and to pro photographers too.

  • T. Schmidt — 8:27 PM on February 06, 2008

    Good decision, the less clutter the better. I too vote for add/remove checkmarks all over CS4, the installer (plugins) as well as inside the app.

  • Andrew Smith — 10:38 PM on February 07, 2008

    I won’t be sad for this tacked-on extra. Had a look once and thought the pricing was much too high. Never went back.
    [FWIW, the pricing was identical to what you'd get from the partner companies when buying directly through their online interfaces. --J.]

  • Dave — 5:44 AM on February 11, 2008

    [FWIW, the pricing was identical to what you'd get from the partner companies when buying directly through their online interfaces. --J.]
    But still quite high for anyone used to dealing with microstock – a very popular group not represneted there and probabbly for good business reasons at the time.

  • Eddy — 12:26 PM on March 05, 2008

    Any comments on Scott Graham’s issue?
    I just tried to use the Mac uninstaller and it said “Installing” a spewed forth a constantly changing display of hundreds and hundreds of files.
    It doesn’t look to me like the Uninstaller did any uninstalling to me at all!

  • Wim Heitinga — 2:40 PM on March 12, 2008

    OK, so now I would like to get rid of it in Bridge, and make sure all associated files are deleted from my mac. Can I just delete the Adobe Stock Photo’s CS3 folder from the applications folder or is there more I shoud do.
    Or should I waite for the next Bridge update ?
    Thanks
    [You can download the uninstaller here. --J.]

  • Richie — 7:38 AM on March 16, 2008

    Perhaps Adobe might consider reducing the price of their product. Removing a component is surely worth a discount, is it not? Just my two cents.
    [No. --J.]

  • Loc Pham — 5:53 AM on March 25, 2008

    Good decision. I’ve tried once using Adobe Stock for buying pictures online and had the bad experience that after having paid with my credit card, Adobe stated that this third party vendor wasn’t available in my country and thus I had to request for a refund. It took more than six month to get my money back! Never seen such a bad service.
    The good thing was that previous searches were saved.

  • Michael Stone — 1:41 AM on March 27, 2008

    Apparently, in this forum anyway, I am of a minority opinion. I do, however, belong to a group of hundreds of CS2 & CS3 users who agree that ASP was a major selling point & swung the pendulum for them in favor of purchasing Adobe CS2 or CS3 (both for me).

    I found ASP neither cumbersome or annoying. I used ASP for “swipe files”, which simply means images that I downloaded and used as inspiration. I did not once actually use a file downloaded through ASP in any of my work, other than for ideas to embellish and inspire my own creativity.

    Educators all over are also crying “Foul!” over this debacle because the use of Adobe Stock Photos has been a staple in the classroom since Adobe first introduced ASP with CS2. The comp images were perfect for lessons as the students did not have to spend hours hunting down the “just right” image for their project.

    I say, “Shame on you, Adobe!” for making such a foolish decision, and “Double shame on you, Adobe!”, for not even having the courtesy to give any rational explanation as to why ASP has been discontinued. This is unacceptable, and is not the way customers are retained. It appears that Adobe is going the Microsoft route, assuring themselves of a monopoly of creative software suites, then jerking loyal consumers around at any whim with no rhyme nor reason to their foolish decisions.

    Anyone up for a class-action lawsuit?

  • Don — 2:17 PM on April 02, 2008

    I take all my own photo’s with my beautiful Canon 40D so I never use stock photos anyway. But good riddance I guess.

  • Todd — 6:11 PM on April 02, 2008

    I just got Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 for the Mac… I pre-ordered it, and it was released yesterday… and they include Bridge CS3 with Adobe Stock Photos… which of course, they discontinue yesterday! Doesn’t Adobe have any internal communication?
    [Fair enough. I think the deal is that ASP was discontinued after Elements had picked up a fully baked version of Bridge, and the benefit of pulling out a component (esp. one that few people used) didn't justify the possible risk. --J.]

  • Ashley — 2:55 PM on April 16, 2008

    Ah, this is actually really disappointing. I thought having Stock Photos made life a million times easier. I found some of the best Stock imaginable on there, and it helped by MILES with my Web Design.

  • Gary Wright — 10:49 PM on June 13, 2008

    What is going on? I bought Elements 6 and now my computer is filled with junk I don’t want (ASP) and the so-called uninstaller doesn’t work – it simply adds hundreds more files! This is scandalous. I want this trash off my computer!!!!! This is an unwanted invasion of my hard drive and if Adobe can’t get rid of it, GIVE ME MY MONEY BACK and I’ll erase/reinstall my hard drive.

  • Alex (Tucson Web Design) — 12:05 PM on October 01, 2008

    I loved that feature too, to bad its not available anymore. I wish you could still search the database for pics.

  • Mike — 7:46 AM on September 18, 2009

    You guys at adobe need to make stuff like this announced within the Application itself for those of us who don’t scour the web for the possibility a service may be discontinued when there is no need to search for said info.
    Also “An FAQ is posted” is improper grammar. It’s “A FAQ is posted”. lol, sorry just a pet peeve, I wish people would learn the difference between “A” and “An.”

  • Stock — 12:09 PM on April 29, 2010

    Stock picks are hard. I have the same adobe program but cannot seem to get it right.

  • Max Dunn — 2:50 PM on October 17, 2011

    We have resurrected this concept by using the new Adobe CS Extension technology to make Fotolia images available to Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign CS5 users. You can download the free Extension from http://www.fotolia.com/adobeplugin

    As you indicated when Adobe stopped doing this, Adobe did focus on extensibility and we love this new form of extensibility. It may make more sense for companies like us and Fotolia to extend the Creative Suite this direction, as Adobe has to avoid playing favorites among vendors such as stock photo vendors. Presumably they want to sell Photoshop to Microstock and “real” stock photo companies alike.

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