Can You Use Unsplash Images on Instagram?

unsplash images for instagram use

Instagram is the largest photo-sharing app with over a billion users, providing you with an opportunity to showcase your photography skills. Although not all of us are gifted the photography skills, many have considered using other people’s images to grow their Instagram accounts, with popular sites like Unsplash gaining attention. The question remains: is it possible to use Unsplash images on Instagram?

Unsplash images are copyright-free and both personal and commercially usable, making them possible to use on your Instagram account. However, it’s always best to edit and alter them to make them unique.

That’s not all, as you still need to know whether you can use Unsplash images commercially, whether Instagram allows copyrighted images on their platform, and how to avoid copyright claims on Instagram, which you will learn if you read on.

Is it Legal to Use Unsplash Images on Instagram?

Instagram has billions of users sharing their favorite photography skills. Besides that, it’s also a very popular social media site that attracts big companies to market their products and paying influencers to do the marketing gigs. With billions of images posted on Instagram, it’s a bit hard to trace all the images and ensure they are original and authentic.

Unsplash is a royalty-free image-sharing platform where you’re allowed to use the images as you see fit. With this in mind, many have considered using the images from Unsplash to grow and keep their Instagram accounts active. However, there’s a concern about the legitimacy of these images, and the last thing you want is for Instagram to block or ban an account you’ve spent years growing.

However, Unsplash has ‘all inclusive’ rights, where you’re allowed to use the photos you download from their platform as you see fit without attributing the owner or Unsplash. This freedom means you can download and use these photos on your Instagram account without worrying about copyright claims. However, it’s always best to do the following to spare your account from Instagram’s policies:

  • Edit the images – try changing a few things to make the photos unique. You could add more text, change the background color, or blend in other photos.
  • Attribute the owner – it’s always best to appreciate other people’s work by giving them credit.
  • Check with the owner – make sure you contact the photo’s owner and let them know how you wish to use their work.

Nonetheless, you can still use Unsplash photos on Instagram without facing any legal procedures.

Can you Use Unsplash Images Commercially?

Commercial use here applies to blog posts, YouTube videos, product descriptions, or any business that generates income, like printed T-shirts. However, you should only use images from reputable photographers to avoid any legal issues of copyright infringement.

Unsplash has made it clear that all the photos on their database are uploaded by owners and give any user a right to use them as they see fit, which includes commercial use. However, it would help if you attributed the credit to the image owners.

Are Unsplash Images Safe for Business?

Many photographs on Unsplash are safe to use on any business since they’re posted by original photographers. Even so, you shouldn’t pick and use any photo you find on Unsplash without taking any precautions.

For instance, there have been cases where people have gotten into copyright problems after using Unsplash images. That’s because they used images that were stolen and uploaded by other people. Although Unsplash is doing everything to combat this problem, it’s crucial if you research the Unsplash user by reading feedback from other people who have used their photographs.

Can you Use Copyrighted Images on Instagram?

Instagram is against using other people’s work without their consent. Although the platform doesn’t have a way of filtering copyrighted media from its database, it can still block or ban your account if someone holding the copyright to the images lounges a complaint.

If you must use other people’s work, it’s always best to attribute credit to them or contact them seeking permission to use their work.

Besides getting warnings, getting the content pulled down, or deactivating the account, you can still suffer other consequences after passing someone else’s work as yours, and they include:

  • Damaged reputation – the public doesn’t react very well to fraudsters or scammers, and that’s how they will see you if you use other people’s work without their consent.
  • Bad business – this usually affects huge Instagram accounts that attract business brands and companies to advertise on their accounts. You’d find it hard to convince them as no business likes to be associated with a bad reputation.
  • Losing authenticity – an Instagram account’s identity is associated with the content you post, and it would lose its authenticity once people realize you post other people’s work.
  • Losing followers – although you might regain a huge portion of them, losing followers is not something any Instagram account owner would wish.

Although many don’t know, but using copyrighted images on Instagram can have far fetching effects on your account.

How to Avoid Copyright Claim on Instagram

Now that we’ve seen what a copyright claim can do to your account, it’s time to know how to protect yourself and avoid this problem. First, you must avoid using other people’s work without giving them a mention.

Secondly, you should opt to use photographs you took to avoid any copyright issues. If you’re not good with the camera, you can always ask a friend or partner to help out. You’d be surprised how small gestures can have bigger effects.


Instagram is a great place to grow your influence and connect with like-minded people. The account grows fast when you post regularly, and it’s okay to use Unsplash images, although you should edit them or credit the owner.

Instagram is against any copyright infringement actions, and your content might be pulled down or banned if you continuously post copyrighted content. Getting sued for copyrighted content can also affect your reputation, business, and losing followers. Try uploading content you created to avoid any copyright claims.

Something you may want to check out is for their Instagram images and templates. They have thousands of post templates, story templates, and more, and tons of copyright-free images you can use without worrying.