Sep 272011
 

Yesterday, I received a curious set of emails, sent within an hour of each other.  The first was from 500px.com, a photo sharing site well-known for it’s clean design and high caliber of photography.  A relative newcomer to the photo-sharing scene, it’s garnered high marks and a cult following from photographers and photography enthusiasts.  (In fact, I highly recommend that you check out its free services!)

This was the first time I had ever received correspondence from 500px, so I was somewhat curious to read it.  It was an announcement that 500px was ending its relationship with a partner, Fotomoto, a print-on-demand e-commerce provider.  In part:

The current 500px photo stores, provided by our partner Fotomoto, are not ideal. Its platform, although powerful and feature rich, does not quite satisfy our high demands for quality of the user experience. So, we will not extend our contact with Fotomoto, and they will end supporting stores on 500px on September 27, 2011.

Then, less than an hour later, an email from Fotomoto (again, a first), stating in part:

As you may already know, Fotomoto is going to stop providing service to 500px platform at the end of today.  Unfortunately 500px didn’t meet their business and technical commitments.  After several unsuccessful attempts and unanswered emails to solve their issues, we had to send them a notice last week informing them that we are terminating our contract with 500px (which is a slightly different from what they mentioned in their email).

Well that was a strange set of emails (shrug).  Until . . . this afternoon when I received this follow up message from 500px.com stating:

On September 26, 2011, we issued a statement concerning our partnership with Fotomoto that may have been misinterpreted. The fact that we are not extending our partnership with them was a mutual decision and was not related to the quality of Fotomoto’s advanced and feature-rich offerings, which are excellent.

Ooops!

According to the Twitter gossip, the spat originated from Fotomoto’s demands for an exclusive deal or termination, and 500px opted to terminate . . .

In corporate law, we like to point out that “corporations are people too”.  Clearly, 500px and Fotomoto are taking that concept to heart!  As one 500px devotee posted on Twitter: “You and every photographer on 500px will be better off without them.”  Take that, Fotomoto!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Please, no drama.

The emails in full:

From 500px.com (Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 11:20 AM)

Changes to the Store

Dear friends,

First of all, let me say a huge thanks to all of you — without you none of this would have been possible. This year 500px has seen tremendous growth and development, and although the ride was bumpy at times, our dedicated team members always stood behind the platform, solved the most challenging problems and did their best to offer our users the best experience possible.

There are many exciting things planned, you will see them live on the site in the nearest future.

One of the most requested changes is coming very soon — we are completely redesigning and redeveloping the photo store experience on 500px. The current 500px photo stores, provided by our partner Fotomoto, are not ideal. Its platform, although powerful and feature rich, does not quite satisfy our high demands for quality of the user experience. So, we will not extend our contact with Fotomoto, and they will end supporting stores on 500px on September 27, 2011.

We are working hard to make the transition as seamless and transparent as possible. Most of the features you are used to will be preserved in the new 500px stores. And the look and feel will be completely new and improved.

As always — great user experience is our top priority, this will never change. If you would like further information on our roadmap and future development, follow us on Twitter:twitter.com/500px

OlegGutsol,
President and Technical Director, 500px

—————————————————————
From FOTOMOTO (Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 12:16 PM)
Dear Fotomoto / 500px members,
As you may already know, Fotomoto is going to stop providing service to 500px platform at the end of today.  Unfortunately 500px didn’t meet their business and technical commitments.  After several unsuccessful attempts and unanswered emails to solve their issues, we had to send them a notice last week informing them that we are terminating our contract with 500px (which is a slightly different from what they mentioned in their email).
If you have sold any photo(s) using Fotomoto, your Fotomoto balance is available to you at your Fotomoto dashboard.  And of course, Fotomoto will still be available on your otherwebsites and platforms.
We apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused.  As always, we are committed to our members and to our product experience.  In the next few weeks you will start seeing more print products and more features from Fotomoto, stay tuned.
Best regards
Ahmad Kiarostami
Co-founder and CEO
—————————————————————
From 500px.com (Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 1:54 PM)
On September 26, 2011, we issued a statement concerning our partnership with Fotomoto that may have been misinterpreted. The fact that we are not extending our partnership with them was a mutual decision and was not related to the quality of Fotomoto’s advanced and feature-rich offerings, which are excellent.

Oleg Gutsol,
President and Technical Director, 500px

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