Snapixel Lets You Share, Sell Photos

Snapixel is a relatively new photo sharing service combined with a straight-forward buying and selling platform for stock photography. It’s almost like Flickr got married to iStockphoto and they had a love child!

Yes, it’s yet another photo sharing service. And yes, it’s yet another stock photography marketplace. But both of the services rolled into one website results in a pretty decent combined offering, especially considering the fact that the whole thing was built by a completely bootstrapped venture based out of San Francisco.

Update: the company gave us some free coupons for TC readers! (see below where we discuss account types)

So what gives? On the photo sharing side, users get a bunch of features and storage for free. There’s no maximum file size (although the only format you can upload is JPEG for now), and you can store up to 5GB of photos without paying a dime. You get multiple upload options, geo-tagging and mapping features, easy organization and management tools and multiple ways to share images with your friends on other social networks in just a few clicks.

If you feel like you’ve seen this type of design before, it’s probably because you have. The screenshots below show that the whole look and feel of the Snapixel website was heavily inspired by Flickr, but frankly I see it as as a good thing because it works. Like Flickr, there’s a community aspect to the site, and the service lets you easily organize uploaded images into groups and sets, with the added ability of assigning the appropriate Creative Commons license to them. You can add tags, edit descriptions and titles, assign geo-information to photos and interact with other members.

But what Flickr lacks, Snapixel offers: a marketplace where users can go to buy and sell photos. Sure, Yahoo-owned Flickr once had serious plans for such an embedded service – it made, and still makes a lot of sense – and has a partnership with Getty Images in place that allows the latter company to market select images that Flickr users upload online.

Snapixel offers several account types: Free, Pro and Seller. The Pro account (currently $9.95/year) has all the features of the free offering but removes any advertising and comes with unlimited storage and bandwidth. When you sign up as a Seller, you get a Pro account with the extra ability to participate in the Snapixel Marketplace.

(The startup is giving away free one-year Pro subscriptions to the first 200 TC readers to sign up here – you can also simply enter the coupon code “TechCrunch” on the registration form)

When you apply and get activated as a Seller after screening, you can earn 60% from every photo sale – an extraordinarily high commission compared to competitors – and you get a couple of extra features such as watermarking, IPTC keyword support, flexible licensing options and unlimited storage.

All in all, Snapixel offers a great user experience combined with a service that’s packed with features, and again it’s impressive to see both of the core services of the platform so well aligned with each other in just one interface. The startup’s biggest challenge is going to be marketing; spreading the word to enough photographers who’d be interested in signing up to make the service viable.