When comparing Unsplash vs Pixabay, the Slant community recommends Unsplash for most people. In the question“What are the best resources for free stock photos?” Unsplash is ranked 2nd while Pixabay is ranked 3rd.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro All pictures are free for use
Pro High creative quality
The community is full of professional photographers.
Pro Big open comunity
Pro Free API
JSON API for developers to find and get images, or list new images.
Pro Easy to use
Pro The pictures are curated by Unsplash
Pro Moderated by Unsplash
Pro Fresh vibes
Pro Integrated in tools
Integrated in tools like Sketch, Framer, and Codepen.
Pro No ads
Although some images related to your search show up from sponsored web pages (notably shutterstock), they can hardly be labeled as adds. The section is well identified, related to the search, and does not make the page feel too distracting or unclean.
Pro Free API
Also, commercial use is permitted.
Pro Pixabay License
All imagery on Pixabay is under the Pixabay License (although material that appears within the images can be subject to copyrights).
Con Approval can take time
The approval process for uploaded photo's can take some time.
Con They make money off your free photos
They make money off your free photos by partnering up with all these other companies that charge you to use their services
Con Photographers dont get much credit
Photographers dont get much credit, not crediting seems to be more encouraged.
Con Photos don't get uploaded.
Con No interest in contributions
Photo's can be refused, apparently without any human intervention or review and get a computer generated reply stating that "the quality of the pictures did not meet the guidelines".
Con A large number of unprofessional photos and especially vectors
The vector images can be quite unprofessional.
Con Users vote for pictures to get approved or not
Pictures that are not going against the "Quality rules" can sometimes get declined.
Since pixbay is a free user driven service, it can be difficult to find some pictures related to the subject one is searching on. While in other instances, a flood of results appear because it is a very easy subject to shoot, eg. Road (flood of options), Surprise (debatable options).