Adobe Discontinues Adobe Stock Photos

Who uses Adobe Stock Photos? Probably not very many people, though it has its proponents (I am one of them) who like its accessibility, ability to search several photo sources at once, lack of a monetary markup and cool prizes and perks given free for purchasing. Unfortunately, Adobe has decided to discontinue Adobe Stock Photos:

As of April 1, 2008, the Adobe® Stock Photos royalty-free image service will be discontinued. We made this decision in order to focus our efforts in other areas, and we want to share this news with you and let you know how it affects you. Over the next few months we will be making changes to Adobe Stock Photos. On March 4, 2008, search functionality will be disabled. You will be able to purchase images through our service until March 31, 2008.

Since Adobe Stock Photos accesses photo libraries solely by searching, after March 4 it will be impossible to find new images and the service will be useful only to those who have already downloaded comp photos or purchased full-resolution photos. Adobe has always had a very hard time getting services within Bridge to catch on (remember Bridge Home in CS2?) and Adobe Stock Photos was no different: almost no one in our local InDesign User Group used it. That surprised me, since most major stock photo Web sites were accessible and it didn’t cost any more to purchase through Adobe Stock Photos. Why search multiple sites when you can use one service to cover them all? And Adobe gave away cool stuff to anyone who used the service regularly.