What pictures are Singaporeans searching for online? And what does that say about us?

Faced with a sea-change in people’s attitude to using other folks’ images online, digital photo agency Getty Images recently (and rather shockingly) announced it was going to release a bank of 35 million photos free-of-charge for non-commercial use. That’s them essentially giving up on trying to stop people from pirating images (no, folks, simply “linking back” to your source doesn’t keep you out of copyright court!) and instead figuring they might as well get some useful information about who’s using their pics by making it easy for people to embed them in a story with a credit back to Getty.

The Atlantic also recently published an article that analyzed different countries’ stock image searches and downloads. The results are an interesting reflection on the cultures surveyed: China – pastel colors; Japan – traditional floral paintings; Korea – handcrafted design; USA – business & technology; Sweden – health; South Africa – nature & wildlife.

But Singapore wasn’t covered in the survey… so, given this sudden interest in all things stock, we went direct to the source and asked the folks at Shutterstock if they could tell us what Singaporeans have been searching for. 

If you’re hoping to discover some dark and twisted little secret, you’re going to be disappointed. Apparently, the most popular keywords for Singaporeans looking for stock images online are:

  • Background
  • Skyline
  • Asian family
  • Horse
  • Flower; and
  • Chinese New Year. 

And in terms of downloads, skylines, horses and infographics came out on top. 

So what does that say about us? Aside from that we must really, really like Chinese New Year here, we think the only fair assessment is that we need to get a whole lot more creative! Families..? Flowers..?!