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!