What do you think of Photobucket's new policy?


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If you haven't noticed a lot of pictures are down that were third party through Photobucket. They've changed their policy and no longer allow that service for free. Instead, they want people to pay $399.99 a year for that service.

I think they are out of their minds. If they want to charge a small fee for the service I can see that but $400 is outrageous. I don't see how they even expect to get customers that way. Because of this I though I'd put the few pictures I had on there back on my computer but they don't allow that either. The only reason I have pictures on there at all is when I posted something on the old ISOHunt forum I was on a few years ago (the first time I posted anything personal ever). I'll be going back and simply deleting everything. If I can't use the service without paying an outrageous price I don't need the account. :rant:

What's your opinion?
$400 is pretty ridiculous. My guess is that they ran out of options for advertising as basically the whole "post a funny pic on a forum" userbase is pretty useless.

What doesn't make sense is the high price. Why not try to ease users into paid accounts starting with low prices. The only reason I can think of is if they have done the math and decided that this part of their business is untenable.

I once made a random signature/avatar service), so I know how that happens.

A huge problem with a service such as photobucket is that they make money when somebody visits their site to upload a picture, or view a picture on their site. If you hotlink an image, all that does is use up their bandwidth.

Now think about it, on year 2, they are getting the ad money from traffic they got during year 2. But they have bandwidth costs from images uploaded in year 1 and 2. In year 3, they are getting ad money from traffic in year 3, but they have bandwidth costs from uploads during year 1, year 2, and year 3. And it goes on...

Now photobucket is 14 years old, so you can imagine how many historic uploads they have that are just generating bandwidth costs and aren't doing anything. So most likely they calculated that whichever way they go, it isn't gonna work out. The $400/yr fee is most likely their way of saying game over.
Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me that they could start generating revenue again if they had a lower monthly price but maybe limited the number of picture that can be used. Maybe have tier prices for a greater number. Kinda like a monthly subscription where the pictures stay in place only as long as the subscription is active. It seems to me it would be better then what they are doing now.
Yeah, it does seem pretty weird. They could have also implemented bandwidth limits for accounts, which would solve the problem of cost.

There's only one real explanation - their business was going down the crapper and they decided that by suddenly disabling access they would get people who cannot afford to lose their links to images to sign up for their $400/yr subscription and thus they would make a lot of money in the short term.

This only makes sense if they decided that in the long term, their business model is no longer viable.
I think you nailed it with the last reply. They likely had enough customers who couldn't afford not to pay the $400, because a few days of not having access to images could cause other problems.

It makes me wonder what exactly imgur will do in the future, if their local userbase leaves. They allow free third party linking, and always have.
That's exactly what I was thinking - this is them skinning the sheep rather than shearing it. They've decided to make a bunch of money really quickly, even though this probably means the end of their business in its current state.
It makes me wonder what exactly imgur will do in the future, if their local userbase leaves. They allow free third party linking, and always have.

I've never heard of Imgur so I looked them up and they do things very differently then photobucket. I'm sure photobucket knew they were in trouble long before this. If they had taken a new approach way before now they could have salvaged the situation. It looks like they never even tried to find new ways to solve the problem or introduce new ways to get revenue. As you guys pointed out, this does sound like a last ditch effort to grab what they can, unfortunately this looks like the end of their business. I don't see many people, even those with businesses, signing up for that $400 crap. Anyone who does and they close up shop, lets say 3 or 4 months from now, they're screwed all over again. You can't do that to customers and expect them to be loyal.

The first notice I got about this was Sept.11 well after they had taken everything down saying "Does this look familiar?" and showing that symbol they replaced all the pictures with like some kind of hostage message.

All those irritating pop-ups they have generate revenue and when I went to my pictures there must have been 15 - 20 of those things popping up every time I touched something or passed over something. I don't complain about stuff like that because I know that on the free sections of any site that's how they re-coop some of their cost and make money. I've had a couple sites that I went to quite frequently that had pop-ups unreal but since the services were free and I enjoyed going to those sites I didn't mind even if some were, lets say not family friendly. That's how they kept the site running and made money. One site is still active and the other is down due to other events unrelated to revenue.

Bottom line, it sounds like just bad business choices on their part that brought them to this end.
Fuck their new policy.

I want to migrate everything to imgur, but it's going to be a huuuuge pain in the ass.
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