Did Photobucket Just Screw You?

An article about a change over at Photobucket just popped up in my news stream. Seems free Photobucket accounts can no longer embed images… you will have to pay for that privilege.

Photobucket – Stopping embedded image service – 2017

But, are they screwing you? No. They have given us free service for years and can no longer afford to do that. So, they have started charging for their service.

If you were/are a Photobucket (PB) user you probably didn’t worry much when you saw this post in PB’s blog.

At Photobucket, we are committed to providing the best experience and services for all of your photo and image needs. We have updated our Terms of Service, effective June 20, 2017. Please take a moment to review our updated terms and policies as they may affect your account.

Yeah… that’s a big effective warning. NOT! Like everyone reads ToS…

There is a longer more informative post here. Since these articles are not dated it is hard to know how much of the user base’s outrage is real and a response to fake-news.

There is an explanatory post here. There is a July 6, 2017, date in the post. The TL;DR is simple. PB was/is losing money. Their financial model is not working. So, they either change it or close the doors. Simple. But, that is not acceptable to the narcissistic entitlement generation so, lots of outrage.

PB claims to have over 100 million users and to provide 15 billion stored images, 2 million daily uploads, and to serve 60 billion photos per month.

What is your cost for PB to provide image hosting to 3rd party sites?

  • US$5.99/month – $59.99/yr – Plus 50: 52 GB of Storage and No Linking or 3rd Party Hosting.
  • US$9.99/month – $99.99/yr – Plus 100: 100GB of Storage, Unlimited Linking, and No 3rd Party Hosting.
  • US$39.99/month – $399.99/yr – Plus 500: 500GB of Storage, Unlimited Linking, Unlimited Bandwidth, and 3rd Party Hosting*

*Photobucket reserves the right to limit excessive bandwidth usage.

According to the PB site: Photobucket defines 3rd party hosting as the action of embedding an image or photo onto another website. Here they say, Moving forward, new and legacy free account users will NOT have third party hosting available. Plus Account subscribers in good standing as of June 1, 2017, you will continue to have all the privileges you have enjoyed including 3rd Party Hosting until December 31, 2018 as long as you maintain your subscription.

I have used Photobucket. There are a number of the images used for a Firestorm Support Island article I wrote in 2012 that are (were) hosted on Photobucket. As of today, 7/24, the thumbnails are still popping up. But, the larger embedded images aren’t. And if I click to enlarge the image I get a “can’t-be-shown” message. :/

PB claims they are being competitive. I don’t see a jump from free to $400/year as competitive. I don’t need unlimited embedded images. So, some ‘use’ based plan would have been nice. As it is, I don’t use PB and this added cost makes it a certainty I won’t be using PB.

While I’m not happy about the increased cost and/or loss of service, I understand they have to make a living. I just don’t need a $400-a-year service.

I’ll point out those articles floating around about PB holding images HOSTAGE… they are pure fake news. I would think most of those writers are trying to play you to protest PB and promote rage quits. But, I doubt they are that smart. Otherwise, they would be smart enough to download their images and move them to a different site. I think it more likely they are trying to gen-up some hate.

If you want less hate in the world, avoid those people.

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