Photobucket Gets Greedy and Stupid

by James Buchanan

One source notes “Photobucket is an American image hosting and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community. Photobucket hosts more than 10 billion images from 100 million registered members, who upload more than four million images and videos per day…”

After being a free-image hosting service for 14 years, Photobucket has decided to put a financial squeeze on its users or else their pics disappear from the Internet.

An article on Buzzfeed reports “Late last month, Photobucket changed its policy so that if you want to host your photos there and post them to another website — your eBay seller page, or perhaps your blog or website — it’s going to cost you $400. People are pissed, saying it’s tantamount to holding their photos for ransom, a form of extortion.”

“If you’re unfamiliar, the photo hosting site was popular in the early and mid aughts…”

“It’s also important to anyone who was an active Photobucket customer and is being faced with the prospect of losing their photos or having to cough up a ton of cash.”

“But this change has also done something terrible for all of us, even people who never even had a Photobucket account: It’s completely broken the internet. Vast swaths of blogs and personal websites from the mid-00s are now full of missing images, replaced with a hideous error message.”

“This is a crushing loss of internet archaeology…”

It is sad to see missing pictures in blogs all over the Internet, thanks to corporate greed. Most Photobucket users are not going to cough up $400 per year, especially after what most people see as such a shocking betrayal.

Photobucket should have stuck with its original business plan of hosting pictures and in exchange making revenue from ads on their website. Rival free picture hosting services are now going to rapidly expand at Photobucket’s expense. A small percentage of Photobucket’s users may cough up the “extortion” that they’re demanding, but the long-term effect for Photobucket will be catastrophic. No one will ever trust them in the future, and acting as if you have a monopoly when there’s plenty of competition will always be a fatal mistake.

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