500px, the website isn’t that new – in fact it has been around since 2003. The site is based out of Toronto, Canada and actually have been around way before Flickr. It started back then as a community on Livejournal eight years ago in 2003. The site was founded by Ian Sobolev and Oleg Gutsol with an an idea to gather the best photographs in one place. The site 500px is now redesigned and rapidly gathering artistically inclined photographers under one umbrella. Check the chart below and you will see the growth numbers and how steep the success has been.
It is free to sign up for a standard account, which will allow you to share up to 20 photos per week. The quality of interface is the biggest wow factor. If you do not own a website this could easily replace it with an added community to access your portfolio, favorites and blog in one place. Your photos are beautifully displayed with large thumbnail previews and a clean, uncluttered interface.
Once you pay $50 per year you can enjoy your photo portfolio with exclusive designs, unlimited uploads and bandwidth, support for custom domains and statistics. Mobile-friendly too! Just $50 per year. Those are the main features you have access to at a premium rate. Unlimited everything, custom domain, iPhone & iPad ready, exclusive designs, great customer support, Google analytics, SEO Optimization.
Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield created Flickr in 2004. It began as a photo-sharing feature of a gaming project, has since blossomed into one of the premier photo sharing sites on the web. Yahoo purchased Flickr for $35 million in March of 2005. In June 2007 Yahoo shutdown Yahoo Photos, making Flickr their exclusive photo sharing website. I love the quote of George Oates a Flickr employee in an interview ” I would spend 24 hours, seven days a week, greeting every single person who came to the site. We introduced them to people, we chatted with them. This is a social product. People are putting things they love–photographs of their whole lives–into it. All of these people are your potential evangelists. You need to show those people love.” I think this love still hangs around not from the people who have created it but from the community that supports it’s photographers.
I have been using Flickr since 2009 and have been surrounded by a very active in the community. There are times that I do complain about not having enough features but still love the support of the community. I hear that you do get a lot more exposure in 500px compared to Flickr but my followers give me wonderful support which motivates me. The other reason why I have not made the move to 500px is that the lack of variety of photos in there. I am more in to street photography and I can see that 500px is populated with highly Photoshoped studio photos or nudes. If you want to see the type of photos popular just quickly take a look at the populars section. Well I am warning you… You will see a lot Nude Photography in there. I have nothing against it but there is not filter which makes browsing a bit less safe. I am sure the selection of photos is becoming more diverse. The last reason is that lack of time. Like any other social network it needs time and energy spend in the community. Flickr already takes a lot of time to maintain good relationship, adding another website to this will only take away the time I spend on Flickr community. Of course , I must also add that the existence of Google + and how it is becoming very popular by photographers for all the great reasons. Google + is extremely creative with the interface, the photos look great , the community is highly knowledgeable and loves to share. In Google + circles there are some great conversations going on. I must say, just today I have created my account at 500px will add this to my portfolio and will give it a try you just never know I might get hooked or it will be just another digital footprint, another account that I opened and never went back to it . Well, let’s hope not.