500px has announced the launch of a new service that CEO Andy Yang calls a “natural extension” of its community. The Toronto-based company is now offering 500px for Business, which allow brands to access custom and on-demand photography from 500px’s eight million-strong photographer network.
With 500px for Business, clients can create an assignment brief for photographers containing details of what needs to be shot and at what location, review and edit images in a dashboard for immediate use, and add a web code to their website that tracks whether images are achieving goals such as getting customers to purchase or click. 500px already has clients like Lonely Planet and Airbnb using the offering, which includes VR imagery and 360 degree photos.
“Our mission has always been to enable and reward visual creativity for everyone, and that includes photographers and those that need photography,” said Yang.
The company has been working on the product over the last year to find the right clients to partner with, and to ensure that it could build an end-to-end product that could go from the initial request for photos, to final selections and scheduling logistics.
Besides allowing companies to tap into an extensive network of photographers, Yang said that one of the biggest value-adds of 500px for Business is that it can provide specific data on the most effective photos to serve certain purposes. For example, if a travel company wanted to attract customers to buy tickets to New York, 500px can say which photos of New York are the most engaging based on a controlled set of photos. The company has also gathered insights on what photos are effective for specific regions; Yang says, for example, that they know that birds-eye-view images are more effective in markets like China and Japan than typical landscape images.
“We’ve been managing this amazing community we’ve had for so long, and we’re getting some really interesting insights into the kind of photography that is engaging people and resulting in conversions,” said Yang.
Any photographer on the 500px network can sign up to make themselves available for the service, while the company does the heavy lifting of assigning photographers to clients based on what clients are asking for and if they like a specific style of photography. The service starts at $3,000 USD and up depending on the scope of the project.
“It’s definitely leveraging the two sides of the community and the data community provides us, so with millions of people viewing our photos every month, we have interesting data that we mine that we can bring to clients,” said Yang. “When we talk to brands and agencies, they’re A/B testing a lot of things like user flow and product placing, and they’re not testing visuals, which is astounding because the visuals are the brand and product; they’re the first thing people see. We’re the only company that has this sets of data and that can help creatives.”