If you scan down our blog, you will see that all of our pictures going back more than a year have been blocked by photobucket. In a brilliant PR move, they have decided to piss off all users that host images on their site with direct embedded links to other sites (like this one). In other words, they have banned third party hosting. Of course, there is a solution: you can pay them $399 a year for the right to continue third party hosting. While that is an absurd price, particularly in light of the numerous free or very cheap options out there, what they seem to be counting on is that some users will not be willing to go through the trouble of retrieving their older pictures, re-uploading them to another site, and establishing new links. In effect, they are holding old linked pictures hostage to painful labor made even more difficult by their terrible user interface.
To make matters worse, they provided no notice of this. Or rather, I saw no notice; it might have been an email that went to spam, but in the numerous times I went to my actual photobucket library I didn’t get a pop up warning about it. And believe me, photobucket is all about pop-up advertisement. Nor did the grandfather in old photos and just limit it to new uploads.
So we will be switching hosting services, probably to Google Drive, and in the coming months we will go through the process of reestablishing working links to all of our old photos. This will take some time, but we will work backwards and get it done.
In a way this is a good thing: even before photobucket took this drastic step, I had been thinking about changing hosting services: photobucket is a browser punishing, pop-up advertising filled mess with a very poor user interface and frequent delays between uploads and availability for linking. So I’m glad to be done with their crappy, vastly overpriced service. And as always, any recommendations appreciated!