500px sharing site offers enthusiast service

Canadian photo sharing site 500px is now offering an affordable service for enthusiasts.

Previously, the site only offered the basic free service, or $50/year “Awesome” accounts which provided professionals with “stylish easy-to-build portfolios, unlimited uploads, custom domain support and more.” Now, the company says, “you can have more than just the basics, without upgrading to Awesome; that’s where Plus comes in.”

Plus provides unlimited uploads and storage, and two new features: Sets to group and share photos in themed albums, with buttons to connect to social media, and tools for slideshows. And Statistics, which give “insight into what’s happening with your photos. See the number of likes and dislikes, faves and comments over a time period you choose.”

The Plus account is $20 a year.

A few pundits see the move as a direct challenge to Flickr, Yahoo’s somewhat static service that has seen some online criticism of late. Flickr’s similar Pro account is $25.