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Unsplash

Ideas for the Unsplash API and Zapier

Automation is a wonderful thing these days and what if we could make use of the Unsplash API with Zapier. Zapier is an amazing service to help us with such automation in our work and life:

Easy automation for busy people. Zapier moves info between your web apps automatically, so you can focus on your most important work.

Being someone that likes to track information and data, I was looking into my monthly photo statistics at Unsplash so that I could update them on my Unsplash Highlights page. While updating the numbers, I started to wonder if Zapier could be connected to the Unsplash API and automatically capture photo statistics. But, it didn’t stop there. I started to imagine a number of ideas for the Unsplash API and Zapier to work together.

In this post, I’ll go over some of these initial ideas I brainstormed and saw myself making use of – if it was made possible. Just before getting into the ideas, you might want to know a bit more about the Unsplash API too.

The Unsplash API

As of right the day of writing this, the Unsplash API seems to give access to and integration of photos on Unsplash into other applications like Squarespace, Trello, Mailchimp and Figma.

The Unsplash API is a modern JSON API that surfaces all of the info you’ll need to build any experience for your users. It’s so simple to use that we even run unsplash.com on it!

I am not a developer at all and, so, I have no idea what kind of automation might be possible with the Unsplash API currently. But, the team at Unsplash is smart and I’d love to hear them already talking about such a partnership with Zapier. If not, let this post be the introduction:

Unsplash, meet Zapier.

Zapier, meet Unsplash.

Workflow ideas for the Unsplash API and Zapier

To get us rolling, here are 7 workflow ideas for the Unsplash API and Zapier. They run from capturing photo statistics to working with collections.

Unsplash Photo Statistics

Every month, Unsplash sends me my previous month’s photo statistics – views and downloads and where about you landed in being seen among all photographers to the platform.

I like to keep track of this information over time and it would be amazing if it could automatically be sent to Airtable or Google Sheets for me at the start of each month.

If automation could be done on a different schedule, daily or weekly, it might even be more helpful. Along with this, it would be nice if the data could include the number of photos you contributed in the same period of time.

Since I try and collect this information each month, it’s important to me but I don’t always remember on the 1st of each month and so my stats I record aren’t always on the exact same day. Automation with the help of Zapier would help to create consistency to it. I’d be able to spend more time reviewing the data instead of collecting and entering it.

Zaps:

  • Unsplash to Airtable
  • Unsplash to Google Sheets

Zap for Photo Uploads

As a contributor of photos to Unsplash, after uploading a lot of photos, I tend to forget which photos I’ve uploaded or not. I sometimes come across an old photo and wonder if I ever uploaded it or not. Looking at your profile used to be the only way to recall if a photo is there or not. Let me tell you, this can be a huge time suck as you scroll through your large portfolio of images.

Thankfully, the new image search feature on the website is a major help, but I always think to myself that I should have a local or cloud folder of photos already contributed to the platform. Well, what about incorporating a zap for when you upload a photo, an action sends it to a folder on Google Drive or Dropbox?

Zaps:

  • Uploaded Photo to Unsplash triggers it added to a select folder on Google Drive
  • Upload Photo to Unsplash triggers it added to a select folder on Dropbox.
  • Upload Photo to Unsplash triggers it added to Flickr too

Zaps for Photo Downloads, Likes, Collections

Right now there is no way to automatically track or remember the photos that you download from Unsplash. Maybe, if when you are logged in and download a photo, there could be a trigger that sends that information to a number of places. I’d love to have a list of images I’ve downloaded over time in a spreadsheet (Airtable or Google Sheets) and maybe on Google Drive or into a Dropbox Folder. I can’t be the only one that is still trying to better organize my digital life.

This idea could then extend to your own likes or different collections you create on Unsplash. I’m sure you could build a process with Zapier for these actions.

Zaps:

  • Download photo triggers a new record to an Airtable database
  • Download a photo triggers it added to select a folder on Dropbox or Google Drive
  • Liked photo triggers it added into a Dropbox folder or to Google Drive.
  • New collection triggers a new folder on Dropbox (and you could then add photos to the collection which go into the folder…)

Collect Unsplash Messages

I’ve needed to use a secondary email with my Unsplash account and I tend to forget to check for new messages from people that use the message feature on my Unsplash profile page.

I’d love to have a way for these connections to be recorded in a spreadsheet – Name, email address, and message. Moreover, records would be easy to find and note what people are messaging about. These messages can lead to work and/or photo sales. Also, I could quickly categorize messages so that I could keep track of when people share how they’ve used a photo of mine.

I’m not sure if any of this information is saved within the Unsplash API for it to be sent as a zap. If this isn’t doable, I could maybe see it done through the use of the Gmail app in some way as an alternative.

Zap:

  • Unsplash Message triggers a new record in an Airtable database or a Google Spreadsheet.

Share New Photo Uploads to Social Meda

It’s nice for some people to tell their social media followers about new free photos available for download on Unsplash. Automating this would be very cool and time-saving. 4 new photos to Twitter, a new Album on Facebook or a post or both.

Zaps:

  • New Photo Uploads triggers a new tweet with 4 photos
  • New Photo triggers a new Album on Facebook
  • Uploading a new photo triggers a new post update on Facebook

Search Terms

This might be a stretch for the Unsplash API and Zapier, but I must list it. Record, in a spreadsheet, new photos that match a search string of special interest to you. It could record a thumbnail of the photo, photographer, photo URL.

Hopefully, this idea could be helpful for really specific or not as popular keyword search terms. But also, it could be helpful on popular terms so that you’re finding the newest content on a topic. For some, it could be of help around topics people write about often or know you’re going to need later.

Zaps:

  • Unsplash search term triggered daily (to match with photo publish date) and adds a new record to Airtable or Google Sheets if anything found.

A little less busy

Well, there you have a quick brain dump of ideas for Unsplash and Zapier to be used in such ways for both contributors and other uses.

Can the Unsplash API be of use like this in its current form? Again, I don’t honestly know. However, it would be interesting to see if this is possible at some point in the future.

I just wanted to put this out there as more ways to use the API.

What do you think?

Do you use Zapier and think Unsplash would be a nice app to have for some automation and further organization?

I’d love to hear if you have ideas on this too!