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Flickr fanciers will soon be able to make cash out of the photos they post online following a secret deal inked with the world’s leading photo agency, Getty Images.

The two firms agreed yesterday that high-quality images posted on Yahoo!’s Flickr service could be cherry-picked by Getty editors searching for interesting photographs.

If Getty spots an image it likes the relevant photographer will receive an email inviting them to join a Flickr-branded photo group on gettyimages.com and become a paid contributor to the company’s library.

Under the deal, which will be rolled out in the next few months, selected Flickr users will be paid the same rate as Getty’s paid contract-holding photographers.

“We believe that Flickr will be an important addition to the mix that we have,” said Getty co-founder and chief executive Jonathan Klein.

He added that Flickr’s contribution will increase the depth of the firm’s photo catalogue and bring an element that he reckoned professional photography often lacks, according to the Wall Street Journal: “Because the imagery is not shot for commercial services, there is more authenticity. Advertisers are looking for authenticity.”

Flickr claimed it gets 54 million worldwide visitors each month and stores more than two billion photos for 27 million members.

Getty’s partnership with Flickr is the first of its kind for the company, which was bought by private equity firm Hellman & Friedman for $2.4bn in February this year. ®

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