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Type Private
Founded Toronto, Canada
Headquarters 20 Duncan St, Toronto, ON, Canada
Area served Worldwide
Founder(s) Oleg Gutsol
Evgeny Tchebotarev
Employees Over 40
Website www.500px.com
Alexa rank positive decrease 1,331 (March 2015)[1]
Type of site Social Networking
Launched October 31, 2009
Current status Active

500px, pronounced five hundred pixels,[2] is a Canadian online photography community[3][4] that was co-founded by Oleg Gutsol and Evgeny Tchebotarev (artistically also known as “Ian Sobolev”).[5] The Toronto based startup[6] launched its Web 2.0 version in 2009[7] and is aimed at aspiring and professional photographers;[8] encouraging members to upload their best work.[9]

500px is seen as a place to gain exposure, find inspiration and connect photographers with one another.[10] The site currently has 2.5 million registered users and over 10 million monthly active users.[11]


500px headquarters in Toronto

Evgeny Tchebotarev began 500px in 2003 within the social blogging website LiveJournal,[12] working on it as a hobby whilst he completed a business degree at Ryerson University.[13] Back then, 500px was considered a good size for web display[14] and was therefore the limit placed on photos submitted for review to the community.[13] 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.[12]

Tchebotarev joined forces with Oleg Gutsol and in early 2009[13] 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 31, 2009.[12] In February 2012 the site got another update with features called "flow", "stories", and "market".[citation needed]

In 2009, the site had 1000 users, purely through word of mouth.[15] By late November 2012, the site had more than 1,500,000 users.[16]

500px was named one of the best blogs of 2012, by Time magazine.[17]


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, likes and favourites all contribute to a photo’s rating or ‘Pulse’.[18] 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.[citation needed] 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.[19] The mathematical equations in place also take into account the freshness of an image with Likes and Favorites counting for fewer points as they build up and the Pulse gradually decreasing with updates.[20] This results in the Popular page always displaying fresh content and motivates users to regularly upload new images.[21] 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.[18]

Apps for iPhone,[22] iPad,[23] Android,[24] Windows Phone 8[25] and Windows 8[26] were also made for the site.


On April 12, 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’[27] and ‘one of the cleanest in the industry’[28] alongside negative feedback that believes 500px may have put themselves at undue risk.[29]

On January 21, 2013, Apple removed 500px's iPad app from its store, citing concerns of nudity available via the app.[30] Apple restored the app on January 29, following the release of a new version with a "Mature 17+ rating" and a report button.[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "500px.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  2. ^ Van Grove, Jennifer (2011-08-01). "Startup Seeks To Be Online Destination For World’s Best Photography". Mashable. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  3. ^ Bonnington, Christina (2012-03-28). "8 Eye-Popping Retina Display Photography Apps for the New iPad". Wired. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  4. ^ Deubele, Simon (2012-04-11). "German Review: 500px is photography - Die Fotocommunity". 22Millionenpunkte. Retrieved 2012-11-04. 
  5. ^ Taylor, Colleen (2011-10-17). "500px, the website for photo buffs, hits its stride". Wired. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  6. ^ Rickwood, Lee (2011-07-27). "Online Photo Site Takes Top Toronto Tech Start-Up Award". Whats Your Tech. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  7. ^ Knight, Matt (2011-03-07). "5 Reasons Why You Should Sign Up to 500px". Matt Knight. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  8. ^ Van Johnson, Frederick (2011-07-07). "TWiP #208 - An Interview with 500px.com". This Week in Photo. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  9. ^ Harrison, Tom (2011-05-17). "The Quality of Photos on 500px is Amazing". Totally Sweet Photos. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  10. ^ Chang, Alexandra (2011-06-21). "500px aims to be ‘Flickr for pros’". itbusiness.ca. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  11. ^ Jordan, Jeff (2013-08-07). "Picture This!". Andreessen Horowitz. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  12. ^ a b c Taylor, Colleen (2011-05-17). "Move Over Flickr - Hot Shots Love 500px". Gigaom. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  13. ^ a b c Ho, Trung (2011-09-13). "Business Management 2007: Evgeny Tchebotarev". Ryerson Folio. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  14. ^ Dzierza, Michal (2011-05-09). "500px.com - where quality meets simplicity". Michal Dzierza. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  15. ^ Havlik, Dan (2011-07-25). "Photographer-run 500px is giving Flickr a run for its money". The Daily. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  16. ^ "Gorgeous Photos, Now In Your Pocket: 500px Arrives On iPhone". AOL Inc. 2012-11-28. 
  17. ^ "25 Best Blogs 2012". Time. 2012-10-22. 
  18. ^ a b Muchmore, Michael (2012-02-28). "500px". PC Mag. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  19. ^ Burrard-Lucas, Will (2011-07-23). "500px Review [and Giveaway]". Digital Photography School. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  20. ^ Newman, Kira M. (2011-12-07). "Should Flickr be Worried About Stunning Photo Site 500px?". Tech Cocktail. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  21. ^ Chen, Yi (2011-10-05). "Photo Sharing Website Review 500px.com". Photoble. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ Bailey, Martin (2011-08-08). "Podcast 304 : Seven Must Have Photography Related iPad Apps". Martin Bailey Photography K.K. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  24. ^ Lewis, Rob (2012-04-19). "Toronto’s 500px Continues Tear, Launches Android App". TechVibes. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  25. ^ [2]
  26. ^ [3]
  27. ^ Garber, Megan (2012-04-11). "Behold, a Terms of Service Agreement That Is Actually User-Friendly". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  28. ^ Bourne, Scott (2011-07-12). "500px Mini Review". Photofocus. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  29. ^ Thomas, Knowlton (2011-04-12). "Toronto Startup 500px Ignites Controversy Over TOS: Is it Helping Users or Tricking Them?". TechVibes. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  30. ^ Joanna, Stern (23 January 2013). "Apple Removes 500px Photo App From App Store Over Nudity Complaints". ABC News. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  31. ^ "500px back in Apple app store after 'porn' complaint resolved". CBC. 29 January 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 

External links[edit]