GuruShots Tips and Tricks Guide — The 2021 Edition — Part 2

In the first part of the 2021 edition of the GuruShots Tips and tricks guide (read here), I talked about the newly introduced or updated GuruShots features. GuruShots is still based on challenges. Moreover, I explained what GuruShots is really about: a game. GuruShots is a time-consuming game, but how much time-consuming? To answer this question, I did some maths for you. In the second part of this guide, I’ll explain how much of your time you should expect to invest in aspiring to succeed at this game1.

Example 1 — Four-photos challenges

First, let’s look at all the numbers in the following table below. On the leftmost column, you’ll find the basic nine levels a challenge participant can be: from the bottom, at the Newbie level, up to the first level of Guru. These levels’ voting power increases as you climb the ladder (second column from the left). This voting power plays a major role in how much time you will spend in a voting session2 to keep your exposure bonus at the higher level possible. If you don’t do voting sessions, your exposure bonus will start to decrease over time pretty quickly. How long before going from the max level to zero? It depends. Challenges requiring only one photo to participate seem to set the timer at 12 hours, while four-photos challenges will set the timer at 24 hours.

For the first example below, I put the duration to 24 hours. Refer to the blue numbering in the table to help you understand the following explanations. Now, how long does a challenge last? It depends. It can be from 45 hours to 15 days. In the first example, the challenge duration is set to 90 hours (refer to cell #1).

Example 1 - Time required in a four-photo challenge
Example 1 – Time required in a four-photo challenge

Now, looking at the table, let’s say you are a newbie; your voting power is 1. According to my testing, you will need to vote for a total of about 139 photos during voting (refer to #7). Since the challenge last 90 hours, 3.8 voting sessions would be needed to hit the maximum exposure bonus (refer to #4)4. My experience with GuruShots shows that you don’t need to keep the exposure bonus level at the top level all the time. Why? Because shortly after you hit the maximum exposure bonus level, votes for your photos will stop coming by rapidly. You rarely get votes for photos, even if you keep the exposure bonus level at the maximum. The following graph visually shows this game’s behaviour.

Votes distribution you should expect
Votes distribution you should expect

Returning to the table again, for newbies, 3.8 voting sessions represent giving about 522 votes (refer to #8). In other words, you looked at a ton of photos during these long voting sessions, and you picked 522 pictures that you somehow deemed interesting. I’m not done with the maths yet. How long does it take to give 522 votes? Again, according to my experience, you’ll need 15 seconds between each vote (refer to #6). This means you’ll need 131 minutes of your time to distribute your votes in one particular challenge. It is more than two hours sitting in front of your phone or your computer, scrolling through tons of photos.

Example 2 — One-photo challenges

Example 2 - Time required in a one-photo challenge
Example 2 – Time required in a one-photo challenge

Now, referring to the second table, what if you don’t enter four-photos challenges but prefer the one-photo challenge instead? Let’s do the math again. The Exposure bonus expires after a window of 12 hours instead of 24 hours. Challenge duration is typically 40 hours instead of 90 hours. The table shows that you’ll need 3.3 voting sessions. In that scenario, you’ll need to give 464 votes, with a 15 seconds average will require close to 2 hours of your time. You get the idea.

As I said earlier, 15 seconds is an average based on my experience. Sometimes, you may need a few minutes of scrolling before stumbling upon an excellent photo before you are inclined to give your vote. This 15 seconds estimate is very conservative. It is probably more than double if not more. Remember, the faster you go, the less you spend in voting sessions meaning your judgment loses its value. Are you getting it?

On top of those estimates, you’ll have to consider the time you spend selecting new challenges, time spent looking at your ranking, time to look for the voting effects after a voting session, time for planning your next challenge, etc. I would argue that you will spend at least 30% – 50% more of your time on top of the estimated numbers. That’s a lot.

Now, ask yourself this simple question: is GuruShots promoting photography as an art? No. GuruShots is working on the same toxic principles at the center of any social platforms like Facebook or TikTok: maximize the user engagement5.

In these two-parts articles, I hope that I put some light on a very time-consuming and expansive game. You’ll need great photos, timely challenge participation, a lot of swapping, voting and pushing to succeed to a certain degree. Above all, you’ll need a lot of your time. Now, it’s up to you to decide how you want to spend your time.

  1. Success definition varies from one player to the other.
  2. A voting session is a period of time where on the computer or your smartphone to vote for photos from other participants in a photo challenge.
  3. These durations were inferred from my recent play in the game.
  4. In other words, you will hit the maximum exposure bonus level close to four times for the duration of the challenge.
  5. In case you didn’t know, I stopped using Facebook a long time ago.
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