It seems as if it's curious times in the the world of 500px, as they are shaking up their print sales offering, a battle that seems to have been going on in meeting rooms at both 500px and Fotomoto is spilling out into the public.
Fotomoto: 500px can't commit!
Today, I received an e-mail from Ahmad, the boss over at Fotomoto, explaining that they've thrown in the towel, after trying and apparently failing to integrate their service into 500px for quite a while.
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).
As far as we understand, this means that 500px users can no longer use the 500px Store, although the 500px site still thinks you can: "We have integrated a system from our friends at Fotomoto for automatic photo store management. Now every user have an opportunity to sell their photos via 500px with no upfront costs."
It remains to be seen if 500px will come crawling back to Fotomoto, or if they're going to have to start shopping around for a new printing provider. It's not clear what the impact is on the average 500px user, but for now, it may be a good idea to turn off your print sales in your preferences panel at 500px.
500px: They're not good enough!
Of course, the drama wouldn't be complete if 500px didn't have a different take on the same story: In a recent e-mail from them, they say:
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 contract with Fotomoto, and they will end supporting stores on 500px on September 27, 2011.
It seems as if 500px are definitely taking the print sales in-house however:
So, who dumped who? And why? Did 500px ditch Fotomoto because they think they can do a better job themselves (and, presumably, with bigger profits)? Or did Fotomoto decide they weren't getting the support they required, and were at their wits end with 500px?
I suppose we'll never know, but I'm excited to see what comes next, both for Fotomoto (who do have a mighty nifty photo printing service) and 500px (who keep the other photo sharing sites on their toes, if nothing else).