500px Review

500px is an iOS and Android app from the company of the same name. It is available now as a free download from the iTunes App Store and Google Play, and contains in-app purchases.

500px is a photo-based social networking app that encourages users to browse through the gallery of uploaded photos, upload their own, and connect with others who are checking out the same image. When 500px is first opened, users are given four options for logging in: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or a proprietary 500px account.  Signing up for a proprietary account doesn’t seem more or less beneficial than linking to a social network, as users are able to link numerous profiles to their account regardless of how they signed up. Once an account is created, users can opt for brief overview of the app, or jump right into the sea of pictures.

Users who like finding and sharing all types of photographs will find no shortage of content in 500px. Fortunately, sorting through the vast lineup of pictures is a rather simple task. Users are given a variety of sorting options, such as looking through popular images, editors’ choice, and recently added photos, among others. Users also have the options to search by certain categories. While options such as “animal” and “nature” are expected, there are some sorting options that are broader, such as “Black and White.” The lineup of photos currently available will be far more than most users will ever need, but this variety means that performing a keyword search, even for an obscure keyword, is bound to produce results. 

Of course, all social networks require interaction between users, and 500px has no shortage of such interaction. The easiest way for users to interact is to click the “like” button when viewing a photo. Liking a photo increases its rating, making it ultimately more visible to other users.  Users are also encouraged to click the “favorite” button on photos they would like to bookmark for later. Along with these options, users can also comment on photos. There doesn’t seem to be much conversation that occurs within the comments, but many users appear to provide thoughtful and constructive criticism to the photographer. Users who find a photographer they like are encouraged to follow them so they receive updates on their activity and uploads in the “Flow” section of the app.  Users can upload their own photographs, as well. However, this requires logging onto the 500px website and uploading them via the computer, as the app does not currently have an upload system in place.

Photographers can also sell digital copies of their images on 500px. Under the “Market” header, users can browse through the library of photos for sale and they can download that image for a small fee. The price for a download is generally no more than two or three dollars, and comes with a licensing agreement. Most photographs are for personal use only, though it is likely there are some that allow commercial use.

Overall, 500px is just for users who want to look at and share high-resolution, detailed photographs. Unlike other image-heavy social networks, like Pinterest and Facebook, the image content on 500px has a constant artistic approach. Users who enjoy sharing their pictures with friends, or like humor-based photos may find 500px to be a bit lacking in those areas. However, users who are looking for professional-quality images, or photographers looking to share their work, may find some value with 500px.

You can follow 500px’s progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.