The photo sharing site 500px.com believes its users will have their photos seen — and sold — more if they’re seen in a social setting.
So, the company has transformed its look and feel to include more social network aspects to the photo stream service. And with these changes, the 500px.com photo app says it will maintain the higher standard on image quality that it believes is its selling point.
As originally intended by the founders of the site, Oleg Gutsol and Ian Sobolev, in 2009, the site strives to have the best photographs in one place.
After receiving $525,000 in Series A funding in 2011, and a $13 million Series B round in July of this year, the company rolled out the complete overhaul of its iOS photo app.
Company CEO Andy Yang told TechCrunch, the service is for:
“Those who want to take their creativity to the next level … to learn about photography, learn about editing and visual creativity — that’s where we want to position ourselves,”
The new features to the 500px photo app include feeds that keep you updated with the latest pictures from people you follow. Users will also be able to make recommendations on photos they see.
There will also be a discovery section for new images and a better search tool to find the images and people you are looking for much quicker.
The new update builds on the licensing and sales features of 500px, which are designed to protect the copyright of the images so photographers can earn money from them.
You can sell your images on the site, with a 5 percent commission going to the company on all printing sales.
A premium account lets you link your images to a custom domain and an RSS feed. It also removes any 500px branding, and it is advertisement free so you can control the content that goes on your profile.
If the images are part of your photography, advertising or graphic design business, you can connect your stream to a Google analytics account to monitor activities. This gives you information on how to monetize your images more efficiently.
With 6 million visitors monthly to 500px.com, the company is hoping to attract the casual user. That might help the site compete with the giants in the photo sharing arena.
Competing in that elite territory with the likes of Instagram (and its 100 million visitors), or Imgur (87.5 million), or Flicker (80 million), or even Photobucket (60 million) would require more social features.
With the 500px photo app, there is an opportunity for you to establish yourself on a site with strong followers. It is a great outlet for individual photographers trying to build a portfolio, or for a small business looking to increase its customer base.
While there are benefits to having a presence on the large sites in this segment, it is very easy to get lost and not find your audience.
In an official announcement on the company website announcing the latest round of funding, Jeff Jordan, partner at Andreessen Horowitz, one of the company’s many investors, said:
“500px provides its engaged community of photography enthusiasts with a marketplace to improve, showcase and monetize unique, high quality images.”
Image: Small Business Trends