Shutterstock must be feeling Adobe Stock’s presence, as they have announced a plugin to Photoshop that does basically what Adobe Stock does natively (but only in Photoshop). “The tool seamlessly integrates the largest and freshest collection of images directly into the creative professionals’ workflow bringing increased efficiency to their work. This tight integration to the designer workflow is one of the outcomes of Shutterstock’s mission to empower the world’s storytellers, wherever and however they may be working.”

plugin_UI_as_of_2016-08-10

Key features of the plugin include:

  • Access to Shutterstock’s fast and innovative search technology
  • Ability to edit any watermarked image for free, with those edits automatically reapplied to the image when purchased
  • Direct access to existing Shutterstock accounts, including Shutterstock Premier
  • Ability to view existing lightboxes and access previously previewed and purchased images
  • Instant inspiration from Shutterstock’s curated collections based on color palettes, emotions, and utilities

So yeah, now designers can nab Shutterstock images directly through Photoshop, allowing them to edit with a stock image that is still watermarked before the designer decides to purchase. It’s exactly the same feature that Adobe currently has with their own stock interface, except Shutterstock’s is still limited to Photoshop. That said, the “dynamic link” nature of Adobe’s products might make this as powerful as it needs to be, since updating one file will update it across editing platforms.

Don’t be surprised to see this added to Premiere as well for stock video. Shutterstock is going to want to compete equally with Adobe wherever they can.