There is a serious difference between Unsplash submissions and uploads

Unsplash is the largest stock database of free photography that I know of that you can just use. Recently, the platform celebrated another upload milestone, having last done so almost exactly a year ago. In July 2020, there were 2 million photos on Unsplash, and by August 2021, there were 3 million. We remember back: In 2013, Unsplash started with a Dropbox folder consisting of ten photos.

However, those who regularly upload photos to the platform will stumble across another number and may be surprised. After clicking Submit to Unsplash, about 4.6 million submissions are displayed right now.

Since the topic just wouldn’t let me go, I vented my curiosity on Unsplash Slack. Luckily, Head of Community Tanya Santos was on hand to clear things up.

I can see why you’d be wondering about that. So the 3 M is drawn from our stats page https://unsplash.com/stats  – and it’s the number of images in the library to date. The 4.6 million number are the number of images that get submitted to Unsplash.

To summarize: Unsplash currently has more than 3 million photos on demand. However, over the years, more than 4.6 million images have already been uploaded, but may have been rejected or later deleted by the uploader.

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