Instagram has a new competitor, and it’s called 500px. This website-turned-app, which has been around since 2009, has always been more of a photo and video portfolio service than a social network or media marketplace, but that seems to be changing.
500px is a website that more serious photographers use to show off their work, and maybe make a little money when a piece sells. The concept may sound a little generic and shaky on the surface, but it’s been an extremely lucrative market. They’ve managed to grow to six million users in just six years. With their burgeoning success and a $13 million venture raised in crowdfunding, the creators of the website have decided to make the entire experience a little more social with a new redesign in the form of an iPhone app.
The emerging social network has a very similar interface to Instagram, and it could turn out to be quite the competitor. One section of the app allows you to shoot and edit your own photo and video, and another shows up in the form of a news feed, where you can view, post, and comment on others’ photos. There’s also a very nice profile section where users can receive notifications from their friends. As you can see, it’s a very close competitor to Instagram.
However, there’s a pretty big difference between the two. 500px places a much higher standard on the quality of photos it allows on its site. While Instagram is a hub of low-quality posts and incessant drama, the creators of 500px are hoping that the app will remain free of that sort of “riff-raff.”
“We’ve had a reputation of very good photography and high-quality photos, and we’re trying to keep up with that,” says David Charlec, the head of mobile products at 500px.
The company is planning to keep the network as much of a photography marketplace as it is a social network, which means that they need to keep their newsfeed looking nice. They seem to be doing a pretty good job too. Instagram has a limit of 1080p for their photos, but there doesn’t seem to be a limit on the size of a photo you can upload into the 500px app, ensuring that their quality can remain top notch.
Right now, the app does not allow users to purchase photos right from their mobile devices. That’s a feature that’s supposed to be coming in future versions. However, it’s not too difficult to take note of the person who posted a photo and transition to the website to make a purchase.
Though it still has a ways to go before it catches up to Instagram, 500px could be the closest thing Instagram has ever had as a competitor.
[Image via TripleTremelo.com]