Watch Out Flickr, Here Comes 500px.com

In the past few months, what I would consider a large number of photographers have made their way to the Toronto-based 500px.com through word of mouth through the Twitterverse and Facebook.  While the site doesn’t necessarily have the same features and functionality that Flickr has, the site does one thing extremely well:  Display photographs.  They also provide a portfolio site for members, with more options for paying subscribers.  Many of the portfolio templates are very clean-looking and they all seem to load pretty fast.  For those of us who are selling most of our work to art directors & photo editors, this is a good thing.

There are many opinions out there about where 500px is positioning themselves in comparison to Flickr.  In my opinion, we’re in the early stages of seeing 500px.com take a nice tasty bite out of Flickr’s market.  For me, Flickr has become too much of a burden to manage.  Keeping track of groups I’m a part of and posting in them regularly is a time-consuming affair.  What I think a lot of us photographers want is something with a simple and easy-to-navigate interface for displaying photos.  500px provides that, and they do it very well.

I have started to put some of my better work on the site and will continue to do so.  My only complaint in this regard is the uploading process.  Right now, it’s all done through the web page.  What the site needs to make the next big step in my opinion is a Lightroom plugin.  Make it easy to upload to the site right from Lightroom including the ability to track and update photos from within the app.  Include the Rating, Views, and Votes as well would make it extra awesome.  Spend some time with beta testers to get the Lightroom plugin right before you put version 1.0 out.  Oh, and if you do need beta testers – sign me up! :)

500px – you’ve got a major opportunity here to make a hit, please don’t mess it up!

Go there and check it out!

Ben

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6 Responses to Watch Out Flickr, Here Comes 500px.com

  1. Amanda says:

    I agree that it is very good-looking and that the quality of work seems higher overall. I signed up for the free account but haven’t had a chance to upload anything yet or play around.
    when you do the portfolio thing, do you still see the ratings and comments on the pics? I am all for honest feedback in the name of personal improvement, but frankly if I am sending potential clients to a portfolio, I don’t feel they need to see public opinion on the images. It seems unprofessional.

    I’m not denying that Flickr leaves a lot to be desired, but you know you don’t have to participate in groups, right? :P

    I’m not anti-500 px at all, I think it’s great. I just don’t personally feel I have the energy for another online photo-related forum and I’ve already spent a long time finding a wordpress portfolio/blog template that was minimalist enough for my liking.

  2. Jim says:

    Ben,

    500px is getting a lot of hype, but as of right now, it looks like it’s just a place with big images.

    Take a look at redbubble.com and fineartamerica.com. Those sites are much more advanced in terms of functionality and community features.

    500px has a long way to go.

    Jim

  3. go_screw says:

    i took a look at 500px and it has nothing on flickr.

  4. wizum says:

    Ben,

    I Ran across an article that linked back to you here. I agree to a point with mr. “go_screw” and even with “jim” but what I think is great about 500px is it’s simplicity of allowing a nice clean platform for displaying quality and portfolio work. flickr Still has a place and does have an engrained “community” through it’s forums, but as a pure system to share your work in the best light I really like what 500px has going for it. In the end I will use both sites and don’t necessarily see one being better or taking away from the other.

    Scott

  5. I think what they need to do is simply work with Jeffrey Friedl, the guy who made the best flickr, picassa, facebook and smugmug plugins by a long shot. If 500px would work with him we would all have an amazing plugin that would upload and sync just as you described it here. if you don’t know what I am talking about just check it out for yourself. http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-goodies or more to the point of 500px http://regex.info/blog/2011-09-20/1852

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