Online communities in any field of work are important. Such platforms allow like-minded individuals to come together, help each other, share experiences and bond with one another. When we look at online community platforms for photographers, including social media platforms, there are some lots of options to choose from. Instagram, Flickr and 500px definitely top the charts. But when we have a closer look, it seems that none of them are as good as they could be. In today’s video, photographer Micael Widell talks about each of these platforms and shares why he feels a better solution is still down the road.
For a long time, Flickr had been the go-to destination for many photographers to post their images online. The website even had quality message boards and groups where photographers could provide constructive comments and make friends. But for whatever reason, the team behind it has decided against updating the site, which today feels outdated and glitchy. If the company made more of an effort to tackle these issues, surely many photographers would still choose it as their number-one digital destination.
Then there’s 500px, which is a very modern alternative to Flickr. But Widell feels that the website is infested with bots. These bots even have a way of influencing the website’s algorithm, causing it to display certain photographers’ works as the best ones. Also, due to this easy manipulation, interactions on the site are of no use.
The third giant in the field is the biggest: Instagram. Photographers instantly fell in love with Instagram when it launched. It allowed many photographers to showcase their work and reach masses of people. The app successfully inspired numerous photographers and spawned thousands of careers, particularly photographers who specialize in mobile photography. Many ended up building their careers around Instagram. But the reality is completely different for photographers today. With so many artists already on the platform, gaining traction requires immense effort and perhaps financial investment. Also, the platform has pivoted toward video content recently, meaning that Instagram’s value for photographers is diminishing compared to its value for video-focused social media influencers.
In reality, it seems the playing field is open. Many photographers are in search of an online platform where they can join or build a community, find inspiration and interact with new friends. Maybe if a company put in some effort and came up with a way to monetize it, both the parties would benefit. What do you think? Are there websites we should know about? Let us know in the comments.
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