Changing rules for Mobile category

There has been a lot of discussion about cheating in the Mobile category with the addition of Instagram and it's made us take a hard look at the issues that we are experiencing in that category.

After looking at all the issues we feel that having a Mobile dedicated category does not make sense for us or our community. It is the only category where the intention was to put limits on the type of equipment used by the photographer and, given people's ability to upload anything from their phones combined with the thousands of phone models out there, it's simply impossible for us to police.

On top of this, the iPhone is a formidable camera that can take photos that can compete with the best DSLRs (under the right circumstances) and we feel that the best photos from mobile should be ranked against other images of the same content.

Instagram on the other hand is more of a social network than a mobile camera and people share all sorts of stuff on it. Instagram now represents 90% of all images in the Mobile category (which was one of our smallest categories before the the introduction of Instagram)

So our plan current is to make the following changes:
- Rename the mobile category to Instagram & Mobile
- The new category will allow any type of image, edited in any way, shot from any type of camera*
- We will encourage, and eventually enforce, mobile camera shooters who are uploading through the Pixoto website to upload to our main content centric categories - rather than mobile.
- Instagram & Mobile will not be eligible for cash prizes

We are interested in your feedback on this and in the meantime we will no longer enforce prior rules in the mobile category.

Thank you.

* Category will be subject to overall restrictions on copyright infringement, hateful images and nudity.
This topic is no longer open for comments or replies.
  • I’m a cheeky bear
    Im my not really humble opinion, cheating occurs because of the cash prises in the first place. The collateral damage however is in those dedicated mobile shooters.

    It's rather a good move than bad. Ingo Meckmann will win anyway :)
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • So the Instagram and Mobile will contain all kinds of images, mobile and instagram which can be taken from mobile or dslr or any other camera. Is that right? I upload mobile images through the website with all the exif info. Where will those pictures go? Can I place them in Instagram and Mobile. Sorry but I am not clearly understanding this change. Please be more elaborate.
    • The idea is that you will be able to post those images in Instagram and Mobile but we would rather see them in the main content based categories. In the future we may require it.

      There just isn't any way for us to have a valid category that has only photos taken by mobile phones so there is no way to stop people from putting whatever they want in there. Sure we could restrict to exif only and then have a list of valid mobile phones. But this would be a HUGE development project and would need to be constantly updated. And it really wouldn't be worth it because the size of the category would be tiny - probably only 100 images or so per week if our prior experience with the mobile category is any indication.

      We are changing the way the categories are structured to minimize duplication among categories. (getting rid of fashion and fine art for example and focusing instead on the content of the image). We are actively working on this and hope to have it completed soon.
    • I will put the mobile images in the main Content Categories. Not sure though if they would compete well against the dslr loaded with photoshop images. :)
      Thanks for your explanation!
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned happy, confident, thankful, excited sad, anxious, confused, frustrated

  • I have mixed feelings about this decision. I shoot one picture every day using nothing but my mobile phone (iPhone). It has been very fun to compete with other "iPhone" photos in the category. The iPhone camera is impressive, but temperamental - you have no zoom, limited focal length, and only rough control over the other settings.

    I have submitted a few of these photos to other categories, and while they are good, they don't always stand up against what I (or others) can shoot with their DSLRs.

    I'm not saying I won't go along with the decision... I'll just have to upload the photos to the main categories and see how they do. But I suspect the iPhone shooting community will disappear.

    Have you considered meta-categories? Flickr and other sites let you view photos by which camera they were taken with. It could be interesting to see a tag or filter assigned based on camera type. That way you could at least compare your photos to other shooters with the same camera.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • then this is the time I'll quit pixoto forever because I dont think my phone camera can compete with DSLR. anyway don't bother im only one.

    before instagram was integrated to mobile phone category there were at least 200-300 submission per week - that's at least a month before the instagram thing.

    Mobile phone category is the number reason why I continued joining pixoto . But to finally allow dslr and other digital camera processed in instagram to compete against real mobile pix, Im clueless.I don't think there is really a change - it has been for months now. If instagram images are meant for sharing only I don't think these images should even be in the duel. Alexander is right "The collateral damage however is in those dedicated mobile shooters. "

    Now I just regret taking so much time reporting duplicates and duplicate users until today. I don't want to think that I've wasted so much of my time to make the competition fair here. So starting today I wont report any misplaced images anymore. The problem is not with the category, the problem is the instagram which should abide under the rules of the mobile phone category.

    As i said before, instagram should have a separate category. whether photos are taken with mobile phone or dslr that won't matter because they have a category of it's own. having no cash prize for instagram should have been a rule in the past, this is the number one reason why others cheat. it's very good idea because plainly this is just for image sharing and not for contest purposes.

    thanks anyway for the 19 number 1 images for the WEEK under mobile photos category and two no1 images for the WEEK in other categories that I've won in the whole course of joining pixoto (member since August)

    and Im not sure if I'll continue I've stopped submitting today, unless maybe mobile category remains as a main category.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • OK, so here is my view on this.

    I agree that Instagram pictures should not be included in the mobile phone category as there are lots of DSLR photogs that upload their picture to Instagram after they processed them in LR and PS - even Trey Ratcliff uploads his pictures to Instagram.

    I've noticed that it's much easier to get a mobile phone picture to the top rated images than one shot with a DSLR uploaded to the landscape, fine-art, etc. categories.

    In order to really find the very best pictures, here is what I think pixoto should do:
    Once a picture reaches a given score - let's say 700 - let it compete with every other category. I currently have two mobile phone pictures in the all-time Top 15 and I honestly don't think that those 2 pictures would hold up would you put them into duel's with other top 100's from all categories.

    So, to summarize, I would keep the mobile-phone category but exclude instagram from it and form duels with the very top pictures from all categories to get the "real" top photos into your leader-board.

    Anybody with me or am I out of my mind? ;)
    • view 3 more comments
    • I was joking on my Facebook page because one of my friend asked if I shot this with the D4... I don't own a D800 - I'm shooting the Canon 5D Mark III but that picture was shot with the iPhone 4S. If you don't trust me I can send you the original one from the iPhone.
    • nope don't worry I just have a temporary doubt because of that joke. I left a message on your photo and I will remove the other comments. I havent reported your image unless you make it clear and u did. I already removed the comments above before you even replied to this one because Ive seen your google+ account and found your iphone shots there.
      I'm probably just disheartened of the proposed change in the category we are in. If the new rule is implemented then dslr images process in instagram is already allowed in our category and will be up againts the mobile phone photos. If that's the case more and more people use this category to get high points, as you see instagram submissions get's higher image points than their DSLR counterparts. One suggestion I think Chad Johnson was referring to is to submit our mobile photos to other main categories and mobile phone photos as a sub category - Im not sure if my understanding of that suggestion is correct - but maybe, just maybe, it's ok but at the same time, quality wise, mobile phone images have a little disadvantage..

      btw, I love your shots and I follow you on pixoto. your shots are great and it inspires me to improve my skills. so far you're the one mobile photographer to watch out for here.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • To Better this site, i agree with you Jason and Any decision from Pixoto management.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Pozdrav! Ja slikam s svojim SonyEricsson k770i i vidim da moje slike dosta dobro prolaze. S Pixoto sam se prosto rečeno zarazio. Mislim da bi bilo dobro da se izbaci Instagram iz natjecanja i da se posebno nagradjuju slike iz kategorije -Mobilni ostali- i posebno iz kategorije -iPhone-. Volio bi i da se ne desavaju smicalice da slika ima 800 poena i za kraj tjedna da ista ima 700 poena i ponovo kad prodje tjedno bodovanje ta ista slika ponovo ima 800 poena. Tu je zaključak da netko nepošteno igra. Ja nemam bolji fotoaparat i jedino mogu da se natječem s svojim mobitelom. Ako ne bude nagrada za kategoriju -Mobilni ostali- ja prestajem s natjecanjem jer imam ja puno pohvala i na Facebooku za ljepe slike i netrebaju mi još samo pohvale s Pixoto.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Ok. Here are my thoughts on this move by Pixoto.

    Pixoto is first and foremost a commercial enterprise for the people behind the site. They have to be paid for the hard work they have put into developing the site. Therefore it makes perfect commercial sense for them to join forces with Instagram due to it's massive success. The problem here is that Instagram is primarily a social network and not a photography site. The majority of people use Instagram in the same way that they use Facebook. They just use photos instead of status updates to let their followers know what is going on in their world. As a result the majority of posts to Instagram are just snapshots. And most of them are not very good photographs.

    This leads to another problem. On Pixoto there are a number of people (myself included) who are serious about mobile photography and put a lot of time and effort into producing good quality mobile images. The problem is that the images of these serious mobile photographers are being entered into duels against Instagram images. 99 times out of 100 a carefully composed and edited landscape shot is going to win over a photo of a half eaten sandwich. This is resulting in some mobile shots achieving massive scores. If I am not mistaken for the past number of weeks the highest scoring image overall on Pixoto has been from the mobile category. I think this is mainly down to the fact that there is such an massive amount of crap photos in the mobile category and this is 100% due to Instagram.

    As an experiment this morning I have resubmitted some of my photos to other categories to see how they will perform. These photos all had scores in the high 600's/low 700's in the mobile category. I would love to let you know the results but they have been entered in so few duels so far (despite being up for a few hours) and 'lapse of technology' errors that the scores mean nothing at this stage.

    I agree with pixoto that is very hard to police each category to make sure that people aren't cheating. i also think that if a photograph is good enough it should be able to stand on it's own merit regardless of whether it was taken on a mobile photo, a disposable camera or a Hasselblad. i am going to continue entering my mobile shots in other categories to see how they perform I suspect that they are not going to do well due to the lack of crap competition from Instagram. But maybe it's the wake up call that I need to take things to the next level and start taking good photos and not good good mobile photos.
    • ...and learn photoshop as well because now the competition will be tougher with no barriers for photoshopped images in content categories.
    • learn photoshop is not a problem. The problem is to buy one, it's just too expensive
      I don't take photos with a mobile phone but I'm with all the togs who want to keep the mobile phone category. I understand that they are disappointed. It's possble to take nice pictures with an Iphone for example. My friend does it and her photos are beautiful. But anyway, it will be too difficult for the mobile photos to compete with a DSLR camera . There IS a difference in the quality. Why don't you keep the mobile category for the serious mobile photographers and get rid of Instagram?
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned happy, confident, thankful, excited sad, anxious, confused, frustrated

  • I don't like the idea...
    Jason, I can't agree with you that mobile photos can compete fairly with DSLR photos. There is of course a difference in quality.

    The cheating problem started with the introduction of Instagram. As Instagram deletes the EXIF data Mobile Photos category became ideal for cheaters.
    I understand that it is practically impossible to keep this category clean. But cheating is a problem in ALL categories.

    To minimize cheating in Mobile category you are simply renaming it. Doing so you would be adapting to the cheaters. It should be the other way round.
    Why is it not possible to create an own category for Instagram and leave Mobile Photos category as it is?
    I just think mobile phone photography is a world of its own and deserves an own category.

    Anyway, you define the rules. But let me say that I would be very disappointed... :-(
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra... this is the problem with instagram which is under mobile phone photo category
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Merging Instagram & Mobile seems to turn it into a pretty useless, catch-all category. Might as well be renamed "uncategorized."

    Why not just scrap it altogether, or better yet, remove integration with Instagram? Because seriously, does Pixoto really need more photos that have had some tacky, hipster filter and border treatment applied to them?

    Having a category for mobile makes sense, but not so much for Instagram. It's like having a category for Picnik or Picasa.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I think the best answer is to not allow instragram photos.....whatever they are taken or edited by or from.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Please get rid of Instagram photos. They are horrible. I skip them. They are of such poor quality. If you don't get rid of it, at least let them compete with each other and not with the rest of us. They are a joke and I personally feel they make the site look bad. They are bring us down to a level of un-professionalism.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I am also in the favor of getting rid of Instagram. You can hardly see what the picture is about. They are uploaded in bunches and that is why we see so many of them in the duels. There was a dicussion on the forum that putting a watermark would obscure the subject and make the Pixoto experience not that interesting and with Instagram this very thing is happening.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Thank you all for your thoughts. We are reassessing our approach to mobile and instagram based on your feedback. Stay tuned.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • so finally instagram is still with mobile photos in the FINAL proposed category structure
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1B...
    and this who submitted under instagram pix, currently rank 1
    http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra... made a comment that his instagram pix are not really mobile pix and might win cash prize this week before the new category structure be imposed. SO starting next week(?) there will be no more cash prize for mobile photo category but that won't eliminate fake mobile photos since the mobile photo category generates highers points because of the number submissions every week, 3000 on the average. I'd rather go back sharing and competing my mobile pix in other contest, hopefully I'll find one. (with or without cash prize) There I will feel I'm competing with my co-mobile phone togs.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • This reply was removed on 2012-07-11.
    see the change log
  • It's sad to see paul moore go-one of the top (mobile) togs in 2011. I saw his images hours ago but I can't see any of his images under mobile category now. He was my closest competition in mobile category in 2011. He HAD won around 10 number 1s since he started. It was always fun to compete and at the same time grow as an artist.
    who's next?
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Hi Jay,

    Thanks for the kind words. It has been fun competing with you in the mobile category for the last year.

    Unfortunately my patience with the site just ran out. While I was unhappy about a number of issues with the site, such as the introduction of PRO accounts, the constant technical issue and the massive wave of garbage coming from Instagram, it was mainly for creative reasons I left. I found that a lot of the time I was working on an image I was wondering how well will this do on Pixoto rather than creating the image I wanted to. I even found myself redoing images that I had been happy with just because they didn't perform well on Pixoto. This is not good.

    I will drop in and have a look now and again to see how you are doing, I have always enjoyed your images. They are better than most of the DSLR shot on the site.

    All the best for the future. I might be back:)

    Paul Moore
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Dear Paulmoore
    I don't shoot pictures with a mobile but I also find it sad that you go, I fully understand your point of view. There is a lot of garbage now on Pixoto, not only in the Instagram category but in every category. And to see all the awards people win with their duplicates and cheating is very disappointing. I'm now just waiting to see what changes will bring the new categories but I'm sure this will not solve the duplicate and cheating problems. I might go as well.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • and quoted "Mobile dedicated category does not make sense for us or our community - pixoto"
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • see, because of this, mobile category doesn't really make sense anymore and this category becomes the most hated/discussed category. it didn't avert cheating on images w/o exif, it even made the category a big joke and just for point accumulation since this category draws huge amount of submission.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited