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Photobucket Revises 3rd Party Hosting and Breaks Image Links Across the Internet



Embedding images on a website or forum is a very common practice especially when you can upload and link to them for free. Photobucket has been around since 2003 with over 100 million users and over 15 billion images. With Photobucket making changes to its subscription tiers, this means billions of images across the web that are linking to Photobucket will no longer load outside of Photobucket's site. It will now load a Photobucket 3rd party hosting broken image as shown above.

For those who want to continue using the 3rd Party Hosting feature then a Photobucket Plus 500 plan is required. It costs $39.99 per month or $399 per year. This is robbery or as some would call, "ransom", "ransomware", "extorsion", "blackmail" or whatever you feel fit.

Granted, the 3rd party hosting may not generate any revenue but do you really have to charge $39.99/month or $399 per year? Why not allow those who pay for plan be able to have 3rd party hosting? You're generating revenue already from those who purchase a plan.

So all images that are hosted on Photobucket whether it be a free account or a lower tier plan, will eventually begin to have the image show up due to removing 3rd Party Hosting feature. Some accounts will be fine until December 31, 2018, depending on their subscription.

What makes matters worse is that Photobucket users were apparently given no warning of the change. The subscription features simply changed, and images stopped loading without explanation. Users are furious and we hope this is a mistake, or that Photobucket's management will realize the scale of the problem that they have caused. But if Photobucket doesn't revise their TOS to be a little more lenient or reasonable, expect a lot of broken link images in the coming months.

Continue reading for full press release blog.

PHOTOBUCKET LAUNCHES UNLIMITED 3RD PARTY HOSTING PLAN

Denver, Colorado (July 6, 2017) One of the world’s leading photo storage and hosting sites has begun notifying its largest commercial scale users that it will now offer an unlimited third party hosting subscription plan.

John Corpus, CEO of Photobucket, said that historically the company “relied heavily on advertising revenue but that major industry-wide changes in the advertising space have greatly impacted Photobucket, including the rise of ad blockers and the Company’s explosion of 3rd party hosting that generates zero revenue.”

“This model is no longer sustainable,” Corpus added.

Corpus noted that seventy-five percent of Photobucket’s costs originate from non-paying users leveraging 3rd party hosting. The majority of the industry has either eliminated 3rd party hosting or imposed variable pricing based on consumption. To address the market, Photobucket has added unlimited hosting to its Plus 500 Subscription plan at a competitive fixed price.

Photobucket modified its Terms of Use in the second quarter of 2017. The Company began notifying non-paying users through email and on-site messaging that the Plus 500 plan offers 3rd Party Hosting for both commercial and personal use requiring no development or technical experience. Photobucket users who elect not to subscribe to the Plus 500 plan are always able to access all of their photos and migrate to alternative solutions if they so desire.

In Photobucket’s 14-year history, the Company has amassed over 100 million registered users, over 15 billion images stored, with 2 million daily uploads and 60 billion photos accessed monthly.

“With all the photos stored and shared, nearly everyone interacts with a Photobucket hosted image on at least one page across the web over a sixty-day period, putting the photo hosting service as a significant part of the internet,” Corpus said.

Corpus said that “initial results for the Company are positive. This path to a more sustainable business model allows us to develop an even more robust product to meet our customers’ needs.”

“We are grateful for our customers’ continued support,” he added.
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