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500px, pronounced five hundred pixels,[1] is an online photography community[2] that was co-founded by Oleg Gutsol and Evgeny Tchebotarev (artistically also known as Ian Sobolev ).[3] The Toronto based startup[4] launched its Web 2.0 version in 2009[5] and is aimed at aspiring and professional photographers;[6] encouraging members to upload their best work.[7]

500px is seen as a place to gain exposure, find inspiration and connect photographers with one another.[8] It hosts over 6 million photos[9] and the most popular camera amongst its users is the Canon 5D Mark II.[10]


  • History
  • Technology
  • Controversy
  • References
  • External links


Evgeny Tchebotarev began 500px in 2003 within the social blogging website Livejournal,[11] working on it as a hobby whilst he completed a business degree at Ryerson University.[12] Back then, 500 pixels was considered a good size for web display[13] and was therefore the limit placed on photos submitted for review to the community.[12] Once photographers submitted their photos they were moderated and only those of a high quality would make it past the community s curators and be published onto the site.[11]

Tchebotarev joined forces with Oleg Gutsol and in early 2009[12] they began work on the mostly automated incarnation of 500px. Image size grew to 900 pixels but the name remained. The two relaunched the site on October 31st, 2009.[11] In February 2012 the site got another update with features called "flow", "stories", and "market".[14]

In 2009, the site had 1000 users, purely through word of mouth.[10] By late December 2011, the site had more than 290,000 users.[15]


500px has an algorithm in place to allow recently uploaded photos of a high standard to be displayed at the forefront of the site. Views, votes, favourites and dislikes all contribute to a photo s rating or Pulse .[16] The higher the Pulse the more likely it is to get to the Popular page and the higher the chance it has of being seen by other users.[17] The algorithm allows all users, not just those with a following, to have a chance to get their work to the front page of the Popular photos, increasing exposure.[18] The mathematical equations in place also take into account the freshness of an image with Likes/Dislikes counting for fewer points as they build up and the Pulse gradually decreasing with updates.[19] This results in the Popular page always displaying fresh content and motivates users to regularly upload new images.[20] Each user also has an overall rating titled Affection . Taking into account the likes and favourites they have received across all photos, it is a reliable indication of how popular a photographer is within the community.[16]

Apps for iPad[21] and Android[22] were also made for the site.


On April 12th, 2012 500px s Terms of Service rose to the top of popular site Hacker News, garnering attention for displaying full-on lawyer speak on the left-hand side of the page and summing up the legalese into basic points on the right-hand side. The resulting discussion on the Terms was mixed, with positive feedback such as awesome [23] and one of the cleanest in the industry [24] alongside negative feedback that believes 500px may have put themselves at undue risk.[25]


External links

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