Photobucket, you suck! :-(

June 30th, 2017



PhotoBucket now charges $399 for third-party hosted images


If you have visited a website recently that displays images hosted on Photobucket, or are embedding images hosted on Photobucket on your own, you may have had a rather rude awakening as Photobucket decided to block images from being displayed on third-party sites.

All Photobucket images hosted on third-party sites, at least from what we can tell, are replaced by a dummy image. According to some users that we spoke with who are affected by this, this happened without prior notice or any form of warning on Photobucket's part.

Photobucket defines third-party hosting (what is with using 3rd instead of third?) as embedding an image or photo on another website. This includes embedding photos on forums, eBay, Etsy, Craigslist or another other site on the Internet that is not Photobucket.com.

When you open the referenced page on the Photobucket website, you are informed that you may restore the third-party hosted content by becoming a Plus 500 subscriber.

A Plus 500 plan allows for unlimited third-party hosting, and provides members with other benefits such as an ad-free browsing environment on the Photobucket site, priority customer support, or full resolution photo storage.

Photobucket offers three paid plans to members, but only the most expensive plan supports third-party hosting of images. It is available for $39.99 per month, or at a discount when billed yearly for $399.99.

According to Photobucket, the site has more than 100 million unique users who have stored more than 15 billion images on its servers. (Not for long is my guess) Photobucket has been used as a host for images for years on many sites on the Internet and it is clearly hoping to extort money by holding links hostage from the site owners.

For users who are affected by this, it is important to note that the images are not gone. They are still hosted on Photobucket, and you can actually load them right then and there by right-clicking on them and selecting "open image in new tab" or "open link in new tab" depending on the web browser that you are using. This opens the Photobucket website where the original image is displayed.

All members of a site who used Photobucket in the past would have to sign up for the obscenely expensive Plus 500 plan to restore the old functionality. This is not practicable at all, and it won't happen. The alternative is to replace all pictures and links on another free host.

While members of Photobucket may wait and hope that the company reverses the stance on third-party hosted images, it is probably better to migrate the photos to another hosting service entirely.

You can download your entire library of images by selecting Library on Photobucket, and there the download album link under actions.

Closing Words

Photobucket may make a quick buck from the unannounced change, as some members may feel pressured in paying up so that their images are displayed again on third-party sites but most will leave Photobucket and use another image hosting service instead. 

The plan is overpriced not only because of the free alternatives available out there, but also because you can sign up for a VPS or web hosting account instead for a fraction of the price that Photobucket charges. Even if priced reasonably, blocking images without prior notice or migration options is not the best way to go about it, especially since this was previously a free service.


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Of course, this doesn't help me because all my pics are there and the links are in the many pages. I guess I will have to start again? :-(

1 comment:

John Pitt said...

https://postimages.org/
I recommend the above free image hosting site to anybody who needs one! They are much better than Photobucket!
:-)