Photo sharing platform and photography community 500px has recently announced some major changes; the biggest of which involve shutting down its stock photo subsidiary 500px Marketplace and removing the option to license photos under the Creative Commons license. In place of the 500px Marketplace, the company began offering “a spectrum of premium and midstock-priced royalty-free imagery” directly and exclusively through Getty Images (worldwide) and Visual China Group (People’s Republic of China).
This begs the question: is 500px even relevant in the photo community anymore?
Admittedly, there was a time when many of us were active on 500px. A lot of us seem to have already moved on from it to Instagram, or back to Tumblr, Behance, or other platforms. So, what’s this news got to say about the relevance of the platform to photographers at present?
Well, if you’re an existing contributor with a lot of photos on the 500px Marketplace, word has gotten around that the company has no plans to move across all pre-existing images from there. You won’t be able to save or even search for them as well. What about your photos licensed under Creative Commons? There won’t be a migration path for existing contributors with Creative Commons images either, and the company is set to remove the functionality for direct licensing, downloading, and searching for Creative Commons images on the website.
For a lot of photographers then, 500px was one of the popular platforms to showcase their works and also dip their toes into stock photography. The company prided itself in being an alternative to Flickr when the latter’s popularity started to wane, and the website went on to become one of the few go-to photography communities for getting valuable feedback. But, times have changed and we are now spoiled for choice when it comes to where we can showcase and license our work.
Behance, for example, has been one of the best platforms for creatives to get their work discovered, and the recent updates are gearing it to become even more collaborative and inspirational. As for licensing and selling images, AI-powered search capabilities, as Shutterstock and IBM Watson Content Hub have developed for their platforms, seem to be the way to go to for content creators to get their work discovered by marketers willing to buy them.
So yes, there are lots of better options now, and it has us thinking about what 500px has to offer following the big changes on their platform. Do let us know your thoughts!
Find out more about the 500px announcements on their Contributor FAQ.
Screenshot image via 500px