Is It Time To Dump Flickr?

We’ve been considering moving away from Flickr for awhile now for a number of reasons, not the least of which is Flickr has become, as Scott Kelby (and others) put it, “a place to put your photos when you want a hug”. Enter into the mix, a new photo sharing site called 500px. Except that 500px isn’t new. The startup was formed in 2003 by Ian Sobolev and Oleg Gutsol, but it’s only been in the last 6 months or so that 500px has really started to take off (membership has grown an amazing 60% in the last 30 days alone). It seems to be the site photographers are gravitating to in light of the poor publicity Flickr is getting. People have been complaining about Flickr’s poor design, that the functionality is clunky (let’s be honest, Flickr’s UI has always sucked) and the fact that they see the Explore page as nothing more than a popularity contest. Plus, Flickr has had a reputation for poor customer service, even before being folded into Yahoo. We have been Flickr users for several years now and haven’t had as many of the problems others have had, but it has seemed lately to be more of a photo dumping site as opposed to a place for serious photographers. That is why, for the past several months, we have been researching other options and 500px caught our eye.

There are quite a few heavy-hitters who have already jumped ship from Flickr, including photographer and photo blogger Thomas Hawk (UPDATE: We based Thomas leaving Flickr on an article in TechCrunch, as well as his ongoing criticisms of the service, which includes an open letter to Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz. But, apparently, Thomas, while currently singing the praises of 500px in articles like this and this, is still on Flickr. Perhaps we should have cited the leaving of Matthew Rothenberg instead. We apologize for the mistake). Just today, Zack Arias posted the image below to his Twitter feed, dropping the news that he was deleting his Flickr account and moving to 500px.

 

Zack Dumps Flickr

 

So what is it about 500px that has photographers packing it in on Flickr? Maybe it’s the excellent customer service. Maybe it’s the ultra-clean photo-centric UI (with custom logo and domain integration). Or maybe it’s the fact that there are actually Editors behind the Editors’ Choice. But before you get the credit card out and start archiving, all is not perfect in the land of 500px. There are a few things that, at the very least, need addressing, and, for some, will need to change dramatically before saying Adios to the House of Yahoo. Among them, the fact that there are, as of yet, no public groups, like you will find on Flickr. Nor is there a public API, which is a limiting factor for third-party development and connectivity. Finally, although you are able to sell your photos through 500px (they are using the Fotomoto backend), there is still no way to actually declare licenses for the photos you upload. Still, for a growing number of both amateur and pro photographers, the Pros far outweigh the Cons. We know they do for us. Still, why not take 500px for a test drive and let us know what you think. The free account offers unlimited hosting of your own SEO-optimized photo blog (which is also iOS friendly – LOVE), a growing community and great customer support. The paid option is only $50/yr. and adds premium portfolios, custom logo and URL integration (white-label), Google Analytics, Photo RSS feed and more.

 

PROS

  • Sell Your Photos!
  • Like/Dislike Button (anonymous)
  • Higher Quality of Photos
  • Fantastic UI
  • Great Customer Service (try getting a hold of anyone from Flickr)

 

CONS

  • No Groups
  • No Privacy Settings
  • No Licensing Options
  • No Public API

 

 

Site Home – 500px vs. Flickr

500 pixels - Home Flickr - Home

User Home – 500px vs. Flickr

500 pixels - User Home Flickr - User Home

 

User Photostream – 500px vs. Flickr

500 pixels User Photostream Flickr User Photostream

 

LINKS

500px

Flickr