Over the past several months, I have been watching several of my Facebook contacts using Pixoto, and during that time, I would check out the site every now and then, but stopped short of signing up.
Until a couple of days ago…
What is Pixoto?
It is an online Photography competition site, at has recently added other graphic arts formats to the array of seemingly endless images, all vying for Top honors and the potential of money.
How does Pixoto work?
Basically, one uploads their images, with at least a 900px long side, no water-markings to their account.
From there, one selects from several main Categories (Abstract, Animals, Babies, People, etc.) and sub-categories, adding a Title and some keywords that best fit and describe the image.
Once submitted, your image is now in one of several competitions within the Category for Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Yearly recognition(s).
This is the easy, fun and potentially beautiful part of “playing” Pixoto!
Clicking on the “Vote” button in the top menu, sets up the ImageDual™ environment, where two images are sent to the screen, and you click on the one you like more.
Two competing images continue to pop-up on-screen until you decide you are done, and by selecting images in the shoot-out, you are also collecting 1 Credit that can be used later for submitting more images, or giving them a “boost”.
One can spend hours in front of the computer screen with the television or something else is going on in the background.
Not all the images are great, but that is the point, to select or weed out that do not reach the mark, for what ever reason.
Within seconds, you will see feedback on how your image is doing, based on a ‘secret’ formula for scoring.
The algorithm apparently factors in the Win/Lose ratio and the ranking of competing image, to come up with the scoring.
It is not uncommon to see an image rise quickly, and then level off as its ‘final’ ranking is being solidified over the course of time.
The course of time
If an images starts to reach various percentage levels (Top 1%/5%/10%, etc.) during the course of time (Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Yearly) additional points will be awarded, and if your image can get to the top, there is the possibility of earning money.
Flickr – Flickr is by far the bigger of the two sites, and has many more competitions, but that is also a big distraction for some. It can be complicated, take a long time to figure out and to compete in various contests. Pixoto is far simpler!
Paid vs Free – Like most sites these days, there are two versions, and a side-by-side comparison can be found on the website, but for me, at least at the moment, I can not justify the expense see so few benefits in my case.
Selling Stock Images – This is a new feature on Pixoto, and sounds very interesting. On the surface, I like the idea of the higher payout compared to some of the other micro-stock sites I belong to, but I have not tried it yet.
If you do move forward and get yourself an account, here are some things that I have already run into:
Watermarks – I am of the school of putting a watermark on all my images, if nothing more as a form of advertising and some copyright protection.
On Pixoto, images are displayed in competition without watermarks, but are shown with the sites default user copyright on your page/gallery, and are some what protected via simple right-click efforts.
Why? – In competition Pixoto is trying to reduce any bias during the ImageDual™, which is easily understandable, and they do take it seriously.
I accidentally uploaded a few files with my watermark, and they were reported.
I did receive a nice, informative Notification from Pixoto that my images had been removed, but it did cost me my ‘earned’ ImageDual™ points, and additional Credits to up load them again.
Upload Issue – I have, on several occasions, tried to upload an image, only to find ‘scan line’ errors on the thumbnails and larger images.
My work around, has been to delete the image quickly, because you do not want to lose points, delete my browser cache (Firefox), and then try again.
So far, this seems to work, but it is a time killer.
If interested, I can be Followed on the site as well!
It is very easy to connect to Pixoto via Facebook or Twitter, even though I dislike using those services to link to accounts, but that adds to the simpleness of using the site.
I have also been very interested seeing how my Top images on Flickr are doing on Pixoto, which is helping me to better select images for promotion on my main website, but at the moment, Flickr edges Pixoto in easy of direct feedback on an image.
I do like the idea of being able to sell stock images from Pixoto, but I have not had a chance to test this feature yet, but I do plan to!
With all the above being said, I would recommend using Pixoto to increase your exposure to a larger audience, while fine-tuning your portfolio, and maybe making some money!