I don't know how many of you here use Photobucket for 3rd party hosting, or whether you're aware of the recent policy change enacted by Photobucket. (The change came suddenly and unannounced.)
For those who haven't heard the news:
Photobucket is now requiring that you pay $399 per year for 3rd party hosting. If you've been using Photobucket for years (as I have been), all of your photos that you've posted online over the years on forums, on eBay, etc. are eventually going to have broken links (if they haven't already been broken and your images removed).
Here is a link to a list of recent articles that can explain what has happened:
Of course, Photobucket is a privately owned company and can make their own policies regarding customer usage. Whether or not Photobucket has broken any laws by not providing sufficient notification of this recent change to customers will be up to the legal eagles. Thousands of people across the Web are referring to this development as "extortion."
In the meantime, I advise anyone here who has a Photobucket account to IMMEDIATELY start downloading your albums to save your photos (while you still can). You are able to do this for the time being (I've just downloaded all of mine), but if this recent policy change of Photobucket's is any indication of how they will be doing business from now on, then your photos are not safe on their site.
I'm already in the process of searching for a new hosting site. If anyone has any recommendations, please post them here.
Thanks for the info.
I just deleted my account.
I'd been holding off on deleting my Photobucket account, just in case TPTB at Photobucket came to their senses. They've had enough time, and now I'm gone, along with the thousands of other users like me (and you, Wilhelm) who probably wouldn't have minded paying a reasonable fee for 3rd party hosting, but find Photobucket's sudden demand for $399.99/year to be outrageous and extortionate.
I noticed that Wikipedia has updated their entry for Photobucket to include this news:
This new business model has caused thousands of forum DIY's and write-ups with explanatory pictures to be rendered useless. About 500 words into the linked document was a declaration that free accounts would no longer permit image-linking to third-party sites. Ebay and Etsy have also been affected, in addition to many forums and blogs. Thousands of images promoting goods sold on Amazon and other shopping sites have been removed after the photo-sharing service changed its terms.
Heh, just before I deleted my Photobucket account, I saw that I'd been a member since Jun 27th, 2007. No matter, Imgur is great.