The stock photography industry is huge and includes everyone from high-end studio shooters to full-fledged amateurs plugging away for pennies on microstock sites. But, the newest stock site on the web sells photos specifically to be used on Facebook pages.
For $1, TimelineImages.com will give you a properly-sized image to sit at the top of your Facebook timeline. There’s a variety of categories including Nature, Objects, People (which seems kind of silly for a personal profile), Animals, and Abstract. There’s even a — shudder — Illustration and Clipart section.
Some of the options are actually nice images and the site is set up in a very functional way, but the whole thing does seem a bit silly. In fact, when you hit the site’s homepage, you’re greeted by text that reads, “Express yourself in images. Create your unique Facebook Timeline.” Picking an image you didn’t take or don’t appear in hardly seems like the best way to “Express yourself,” at least in my opinion. Also, if you’re buying an image from a stock agency, it’s unlikely that you’re going to be all that “unique.”
That said, I don’t really have a problem with it. In fact, if people are getting paid for the use of their images and the customers are happy, I think it’s great. It’s a lot better than just having your image swiped from Flickr or Google Image search at least.
Does this kind of thing actually have legs? Only time will tell.