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Ever wondered how Pixabay is ánd increasing its userbase ánd its database of images.

Growth of Userbase

For growing its userbase, the platform encourages people to create an account. If you do this, you won’t see those annoying captcha’s any longer.
As a user this is 1) less annoying and 2) a time-saver.

That’s the reason why I created a profile on Pixabay.

Growth of Images Stock

It can become less annoying (no ads will be displayed) if you upload yourself some images.

So basically you “pay” with your images/photos in return for an ad-free experience*.

For me personally, I did not do that (yet) as

  1. It does not bother me that much
  2. It’s not quickly done.
    Granted it does not take that much time neither.


How does Pixabay makes money? As you might guessed … ads. Could be Pixabay get paid on view based model or a commission model (or a combination).
I mainly see ads for iStock. Which is of course 100% in line with the business of Pixabay.
And it’s a no-brainer if you don’t find a appropriate image on Pixabay, you are just one click away to go to iStock and buy some stock photos over there.

* interestingly it does not matter that much for Pixabay. As they get paid in both cases

  1. If you have uploaded images => INDIRECT revenue
    => their database grows => more people will go & find images to Pixabay => more ads to be shown => more money
  2. If you did not upload images => DIRECT revenue
    Pixabay will earn from Ad revenue.