The service currently operates on a freemium model, allowing users to upload 20 images a week for free, or pay for more for premium features, like more storage space and access to the Adobe Creative Cloud for photo editing.
500px also currently runs a licensing marketplace for brands, who can find photographs they like and pay users in order to use those photos in their marketing messaging.
The company is also piloting a product called Photo Quest, which will allow users to take pictures on behalf of a brand, based on a set of requirements from the brand. LonelyPlanet recently used Photo Quest to source imagery for their upcoming book “Toilets of the World.”
500px CEO Andy Yang says that these crowdsourcing efforts have made the platform somewhat like the Uber for photography.
While the service currently caters to the professional/semi-pro caste of photographers, Yang says that social photo-sharing platforms like Instagram (and Snapchat to some degree) have made a lot of iphonographers enthusiastic about photography.
“Mobile is going to become an increasingly powerful capture,” says Yang. “We want to be well positioned for both casual and professional users.”