Photobucket Just Broke Billions of Photos Across the Web

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
18,855
19,913
The Misty Mountains
Maybe I need to start looking for another free photo hosting service. Maybe if the backlash is enough, they will have second thoughts about this. I've looked at the Photobucket site and see no links to customer support. Maybe you have to pay them to get that?

Photobucket Just Broke Billions of Photos Across the Web

Since 2003, the popular photo hosting service Photobucket has been letting users upload and host images for free on their servers. They have over 10 billion images stored by 100 million registered users. But now they’re going to start charging, and that means billions of images around the Web are now broken.

Hotlinking (AKA inline linking) is when someone takes an image file hosted on a server and embeds it on a different webpage elsewhere. Since the new webpage continuously requests the file from the original source server, it saps the server owner’s bandwidth (and storage space).

Photobucket allowed hotlinking photos uploaded to and stored on its servers for a long time. This was their business model, and they made money from ads on their own site, which users would be exposed to when they went to upload content.

Unfortunately for Photobucket users, things are about to change in a big way as of June 26th. Now the service is rolling out a $399 per year subscription fee for those who want to hotlink images from Photobucket’s servers to display elsewhere. That means that billions of images across the Web now display an error message instead of the image in question.
 
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BarracksSi

Suspended
Jul 14, 2015
3,902
2,658
Back when they changed their ToS to say that they could use anybody's uploaded photos for other reasons (probably just inserting them into PR materials for Photobucket, but still...), it was weird enough.

Now, $400/year? Nah. I'm out.

I just need to decide whether it's worth it to try downloading all of them and deleting my account. I tried one method last week (this all started about three weeks ago, I think) and the page refused to work. Maybe it was a Safari issue, so I'll try Chrome later.
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,494
2,141
Between the coasts
TANSTAAFL (there ain't no such thing as a free lunch)!

The "free" web requires someone to pay the bills. The notion that there are enough advertising dollars to fund every feature and website has been unrealistic from the start.

I agree that the advertised price would be ridiculously expensive for a non-business user. I'd expect the folks at Photobucket are sufficiently aware of their user base (and how those users utilize the service) to know whether they have a chance of collecting the fees from a significant portion of that user base.
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
10,317
9,340
Vilano Beach, FL
Yeah, for the last 2 weeks or so, a car site I frequent had tons of broken photos due to this. Most folks just hopped onto another service when they found out the new business model.

Flickr is still pretty nice, still free, allows direct links, etc., and recently since I've been using Google Photos for a 3rd backup (and sharing across non-iOS devices), I've just been using that service for remote image hosting.
 

Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,558
10,620
The problem with Photobucket was there was always a paid tier. People stopped using Photobucket because it became harder and harder to use. Not to mention their site had become a script laden mess, causing even the most performance orientated computers to lock up their browser. Imageshack tried something like this a long time ago and they've gone the way of the Dodo, too.
[doublepost=1501542164][/doublepost]
You can use Imgur as an alternative.
They've become the defacto image host. Similar services like theirs have popped up and gone. They manage to get very fat ad contracts with major companies. I have no idea what makes them special, but it works.
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
18,855
19,913
The Misty Mountains
Back when they changed their ToS to say that they could use anybody's uploaded photos for other reasons (probably just inserting them into PR materials for Photobucket, but still...), it was weird enough.

Now, $400/year? Nah. I'm out.

I just need to decide whether it's worth it to try downloading all of them and deleting my account. I tried one method last week (this all started about three weeks ago, I think) and the page refused to work. Maybe it was a Safari issue, so I'll try Chrome later.
You can always keep them there and download to link to another site, but some forum sites have very strict upload limits like 8 images. This is why a hot link is what I mostly need.

Anyone know of a possible alternate free photo hosting service?

Edit: I just saw posts 6& 7. :)
 

Jakalex

macrumors newbie
Jul 31, 2017
1
0
PA
I was wondering why my photobucket photos weren't showing on a for sale add on a different forum.
$399 a year sure is a quick way to go out of business.
 

MacGizmo

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2003
1,598
919
Arizona
imgr is about the only large-scale alternative right now, though there are other smaller ones. The best option of course is to just get your own domain/hosting.
 
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mattDC5R

macrumors member
Mar 12, 2009
75
16
Perth, W.Aust now Austin, TX
Not to mention their site had become a script laden mess, causing even the most performance orientated computers to lock up their browser.
It sure is a horrific site to use, always despised the occasional time i need to use it over the past few years.

Even the useful sounding "download album" yields nothing but waiting on even a small album of 5 images.
The ads continue to load just great though!

Cant imagine the incentive to pay them money to continue to use their crappy product! I guess they are going for the hold them to ransom method of business.
 
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mattDC5R

macrumors member
Mar 12, 2009
75
16
Perth, W.Aust now Austin, TX
surprisingly not that slow to go through image by image and download, i had around 300-400 photos in there and its only taken 20-30 minutes to get them all. alas some were from an old computer that had hdd failure so wanted the copies.

see ya photobucket! sure you were free so its hard to complain about free things but you sucked pretty bad!
 
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Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
18,855
19,913
The Misty Mountains
I''ve got about 20 albums at Photobucket. I'm there now trying to download one of my smaller albums, and I keep getting an error message, a message: something did not click, try again. :mad: I'm trying to figure out if this is a server glitch or something else, Photobucket not cooperating or being overwhelmed with people downloading their photos from this service?

For anyone who is using Imgur, the web site page seems to be minimalistic. Can you organize photos as ablums and have privacy viewing settings? Thanks!
 
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mattDC5R

macrumors member
Mar 12, 2009
75
16
Perth, W.Aust now Austin, TX
I was getting that error message on a couple of albums, and not others. But no albums started a download irrespective of size.

How many images in total do you have there? The individual image pages seem to run much better.
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
18,855
19,913
The Misty Mountains
I was getting that error message on a couple of albums, and not others. But no albums started a download irrespective of size.

How many images in total do you have there? The individual image pages seem to run much better.
The particular album I tried d to download had 40 images. In total I have 700 images. I'll try again tomorrow. :(:(
 

mattDC5R

macrumors member
Mar 12, 2009
75
16
Perth, W.Aust now Austin, TX
For 700 photos I'd save myself the aggravation of waiting for the album to maybe start downloading and just do it manually. Probably only take an hour.
Then take some pleasure out of closing your account and telling them why!
 
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