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Photobucket stop 3rd party access


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Maybe try i m g u r . C o m ? Just do not publish to the gallery unless you want the images voted on.

 

I guess you know that that site is somehow blocked on this forum by adding the spaces in the URL. I tried to get them to unblock it but nothing is happening yet.

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I was mad at first when my PB account became a virtual paperweight. Thinking about it though, I've had a free account with them for maybe 7 years? I don't think I've once done anything that will generate revenue for them. I don't use their site to show photos to others who may then click through some ads. I don't buy any of their products or services. Any ad revenue that I somehow create likely goes to CC as that's where my pics appear (appeared). I guess they got tired of providing a free service to me (and millions of my closest friends) with nothing in return. Their business...their choice. Shutterfly seems to work just fine.

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If I'm following this correctly, there is nothing I can do about images that were previously uploaded, so my past reviews will have placeholders not photos, UNLESS I pay for the PB upgrade?

 

You are correct, sadly.

 

 

Dave

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Received email to day stating this

 

 

In order to restore 3rd Party Hosting,

 

please upgrade to our Plus 500 Membership.

 

 

 



 

 

they updated their T&C on the 27th

this bit relates to fees and 3rd party access

 

Plus 50 plan 52gb storage $9.00 per year no linking and 3rd party hosting

Plus 100 plan 102gb $99.99 p/y no linking and 3rd party hosting

Plus 500 plan 500gb $399.99 p/y unlimited linking and unlimited 3rd party hosting

 

any god sites to use free or reasonable fees

 

Cheers

 

Dickie

 

Photobucket has been spamming me to much, so I ignored their emails. However, I noticed what you post above today. The current plan I have I believe is $36 to $40 per year. They want me to upgrade to $400 per year. Nuts to that. So thank you for starting this thread, as I'll be looking to change where I store my photographs for hosting.

Edited by Cuizer2
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I've done three reviews here on CC and have used Photobucket as my host site. I have seen this thread and now there is another one on the "Ask A Cruise Question" that is under the "Cruise Discussion" boards here on CC. I have not received the "lockout" email from Photobucket, yet, and when I just checked my CC reviews, my pictures are still showing.

 

I hope this doesn't sound dumb, but does anyone know if this is the policy moving forward in which we will not be able to link pictures in future posts/reviews and will pictures used prior to this change still show up? Or does this mean ALL pictures, past and future, will eventually be "locked out" unless we choose to pay the $400 ransom (charge for the Gold Plan)?

 

Here is what Photobucket has to say ...

 

What users are affected by the changes to our 3rd Party Hosting

policies?

Moving forward, new and legacy free account users will NOT have third party

hosting available.

If you were a Plus Account subscriber in good standing as of June 1, 2017,

you will continue to have all the privileges you have enjoyed including 3rd

Party Hosting until December 31, 2018 as long as you maintain your

subscription.

Non Plus 500 Account subscribers that purchased after June 1, 2017 will not

have access to 3rd Party Hosting.

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I was mad at first when my PB account became a virtual paperweight. Thinking about it though, I've had a free account with them for maybe 7 years? I don't think I've once done anything that will generate revenue for them. I don't use their site to show photos to others who may then click through some ads. I don't buy any of their products or services. Any ad revenue that I somehow create likely goes to CC as that's where my pics appear (appeared). I guess they got tired of providing a free service to me (and millions of my closest friends) with nothing in return. Their business...their choice. Shutterfly seems to work just fine.

 

I have many reviews on this site with linked photographs. I ran out of bandwidth long ago, so I upgraded to a paid plan. I've had that plan for many years. I had been paying around $36 to $40 per year. I'm not paying ten times that amount. I'll be looking for another site soon. Currently I have no trouble linking photographs, but trying to link a video didn't work (that video work when I first posted it after my December 2016 review). So I have been helping Photobucket's bottom line, but got tired of the spamming (too many offers to spend money).

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Here is what Photobucket has to say ...

 

What users are affected by the changes to our 3rd Party Hosting

policies?

Moving forward, new and legacy free account users will NOT have third party

hosting available.

If you were a Plus Account subscriber in good standing as of June 1, 2017,

you will continue to have all the privileges you have enjoyed including 3rd

Party Hosting until December 31, 2018 as long as you maintain your

subscription.

Non Plus 500 Account subscribers that purchased after June 1, 2017 will not

have access to 3rd Party Hosting.

 

Thank you Cruizer2.

 

I did upgrade to the Photobucket plan for $49.99, per year, in 2015 when I was working on my third CC review since I was going to exceed the free storage limit. It's good to know that I'll still have the 3rd party image hosting until the end of 2018, but still. I have been getting a lot of emails from Photobucket encouraging me to upgrade, so I should have known something was up before this topic was brought up in CC but still never would have imagined it would affect the 3rd party image hosting. Photobucket also has a lot of discounts for other products, which I've taken advantage of. I've gotten a few of their canvas prints of some of the pictures I've gotten while on cruises and have been very happy with the quality. Just a shame that they've decided to hold our pictures "hostage". :mad:

 

I also have an account with Shutterfly but in the past I mainly used that to store pictures and to share albums with family/friends. When I did my first review, linking pictures from Shutterfly to CC would not work for me, even though others gave me specific instructions. After someone posted instructions again (on another thread), it worked for me this time when I tested it, so Shutterfly will be my "go to" from now on. Not saying I'll do another review, but to add pictures to help answer questions for others. Speaking of Shutterfly, I love their photobooks. They can be a little pricey, but they do offer some great discounts.

Edited by pghsteelerfan
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Thank you Cruizer2.

 

I did upgrade to the Photobucket plan for $49.99, per year, in 2015 when I was working on my third CC review since I was going to exceed the free storage limit. It's good to know that I'll still have the 3rd party image hosting until the end of 2018, but still. I have been getting a lot of emails from Photobucket encouraging me to upgrade, so I should have known something was up before this topic was brought up in CC but still never would have imagined it would affect the 3rd party image hosting. Photobucket also has a lot of discounts for other products, which I've taken advantage of. I've gotten a few of their canvas prints of some of the pictures I've gotten while on cruises and have been very happy with the quality. Just a shame that they've decided to hold our pictures "hostage". :mad:

 

I'm not sure what you mean by holding the pictures hostage. You can copy the photographs if you want, (I have my photographs on my hard drive and on a backup hard drive). You can also delete the photographs and not renew your plan.

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I'm not sure what you mean by holding the pictures hostage. You can copy the photographs if you want, (I have my photographs on my hard drive and on a backup hard drive). You can also delete the photographs and not renew your plan.

 

I guess I wasn't too specific on that, was I? The pictures I meant being "held hostage" are the pictures many of us have posted in reviews/other posts here on CC through Photobucket's 3rd party image hosting, which will eventually be disabled unless we pay the $400 for the Plus 500 Plan. I'm debating on whether to renew my plan this year or to cancel it since it appears I'll still have 3rd party image hosting until 12/31/2018. The last review I did was 2015 and it's kind of obsolete now, so I may cancel in the fall when my renewal fee is due (September, I think).

 

We do have all of our pictures backed up several different ways: in Shutterfly (and currently Photobucket) that we can access through the internet; an external hard drive (to save space on the computer); a "back-up" external hard drive; thumb drives that I keep my cruise/other special pictures on; and some saved on memory cards. A lot of our pictures are memories that we do not want to lose, so we try to cover all of our bases.

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I guess I wasn't too specific on that, was I? The pictures I meant being "held hostage" are the pictures many of us have posted in reviews/other posts here on CC through Photobucket's 3rd party image hosting, which will eventually be disabled unless we pay the $400 for the Plus 500 Plan. I'm debating on whether to renew my plan this year or to cancel it since it appears I'll still have 3rd party image hosting until 12/31/2018. The last review I did was 2015 and it's kind of obsolete now, so I may cancel in the fall when my renewal fee is due (September, I think).

 

Okay, that is a completely different issue. You are correct, the photographs will disappear from the reviews in about eighteen months. But, in eighteen months 98% of the current reviews will be obsolete (as you noted). So the thing to do is find a new hosting site before you do your next review.

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I only use PB to be able to post on cruise critic and have done so twice. I don't use them to store my photos and I only take photos with my phone when I am on holiday.

 

All my photos now have their silly little threat on.

 

Why is it such an issue to post photos on CC? I am technically challenged but I can post of Facebook easily from my gallery. Guess I might have to start a blog and just put a link in to my cruises.

 

Alicat

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Why is it such an issue to post photos on CC? I am technically challenged but I can post of Facebook easily from my gallery. Guess I might have to start a blog and just put a link in to my cruises.

 

Alicat

 

You're dealing with an issue of two competing business models that have historically been mutually supporting.

 

Most internet forums do not actually store photos. That's a big storage and bandwidth expense to the forum (also blogs, internet auctions, etc.). A site like CC reached maturity concurrently with a largely advertiser revenue based business model of hosting sites like Photobucket, Flickr, etc., that provided storage space for photos, and the ability to embed photos elsewhere. That was great for non-commercial users who didn't want to invest in their own domain or server space, and turned the internet forum into a burgeoning business, fully illustrated.

 

At the same time, a lot of smaller Amazon/E-Bay and related internet sellers started hosting their photos (which likewise weren't stored on the respective auction sites) on the same hosting sites. Which made E-Bay and Photobucket, for instance, codependent. What Photobucket is arguing today is that their business model of advertiser supported storage supplemented by "Plus" accounts for those with higher bandwidth needs is no longer sufficient.

 

If you read their blog, it looks like Photobucket is really going after those mid-sized commercial accounts (E-Bay sellers, for instance) who may have a financial incentive to pay the hosting fees, and leaving the forum participant business behind. Which breaks the mutually supporting relationship that's existed for 14+ years, and really nearly destroys historical content on places like CC.

 

I appear to be in the grandfathered group as a Plus 20 account holder. I'm looking at 2-3 different options for hosting in the future. A few are somewhat lesser known and are at least a little less likely to go through this degree of upheaval in the process. I have almost 10,000 posts on another forum, probably 25% or more with photos, going back to 2006. That all eventually becomes invisible, or has a big "Photobucket" target. I really find myself wondering how PB expects to attract or retain enough users willing to pay $400/year to be successful. I honestly would probably have paid $100/year, and if introduced slowly, with advanced notice, and a more appropriate price point, I suspect PB would have retained most of their users and been ahead financially. And maybe they'll yet blink...

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....

 

If you read their blog, it looks like Photobucket is really going after those mid-sized commercial accounts (E-Bay sellers, for instance) who may have a financial incentive to pay the hosting fees, and leaving the forum participant business behind. Which breaks the mutually supporting relationship that's existed for 14+ years, and really nearly destroys historical content on places like CC.

 

,,, I really find myself wondering how PB expects to attract or retain enough users willing to pay $400/year to be successful. I honestly would probably have paid $100/year, and if introduced slowly, with advanced notice, and a more appropriate price point, I suspect PB would have retained most of their users and been ahead financially. And maybe they'll yet blink...

 

The destruction of historical content (including my own) really sickens me. The lack of notice was disgusting. And I agree with you, I think many folks would be willing to pay a reasonable fee.

 

I emailed PB about all of this, told them I felt like a ransomware victim, and even said I'd be willing to pay a reasonable fee, but $400 per year was ridiculous. Here's their stick-it-in-your-ear reply;

 

Hello,

Thank you for feedback.

Photobucket continues to have the distinct pleasure of hosting 15 billion photos from 100 million unique users since inception fourteen years ago. In recent months, management has made some changes that will enable Photobucket to continue providing excellent services to our user base while maintaining an economically stable position.

In the past we’ve had solutions for everyone. From free users to paid subscriptions, there’s been an option for all types of people that care about their memories, blogs, or businesses. We continue to commit to offering free services as well as enterprise support, but we’ve needed to reinforce standards we’ve been historically lenient on.

It is our business to serve our users with valuable benefits that are otherwise very costly for us to support compared to our competitors, especially as it relates to third party image hosting. Starting several weeks ago, we began telling our users that the nature of how we work with them will be changing with the tide of the photo hosting environment via messaging in email, on site, etc. In staying true to our word, we’re asking that customers using our service as an image serving facility buy a subscription to continue with that level of service that has historically been overlooked for free users. This feature is a costly one, and we are asking our patrons to help support our infrastructure. We aren’t deleting photos or holding any photos at arm’s length for download; we are simply asking our non-paying users to join our subscription service to continue enjoying benefits of our site.

The subscriptions we are offering are price competitive for the greater photo hosting landscape, and we hope to bring additional functionality in the upcoming months to further delight our users that support their businesses with our service. We are continually evaluating our subscriptions, committing to the needs, feedback, and desires of our valued user base.

If you are seeing the "3rd Party Hosting Usage" image on your site, it means that your Photobucket account has been restricted for 3rd party hosting. Our Terms of Service does not allow 3rd party hosting for your current account level. Due to this, we have disabled linking for your account.

We ask that you upgrade to our Plus 500 subscription to continue using us to host your images. This subscription is the only option for off-site photo hosting at this time.

To upgrade to a Plus 500 account, click here. Once you've completed your purchase, please clear your browser's cache and cookies to update your pages.

Thank you.

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Okay, that is a completely different issue. You are correct, the photographs will disappear from the reviews in about eighteen months. But, in eighteen months 98% of the current reviews will be obsolete (as you noted). So the thing to do is find a new hosting site before you do your next review.

 

Also, Cuizer, note that for the majority of PB users who were posting here on CC, photos are already gone! This is not something happening 18 months from now. It happened already, and with no advance notice whatsoever.

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Also, Cuizer, note that for the majority of PB users who were posting here on CC, photos are already gone! This is not something happening 18 months from now. It happened already, and with no advance notice whatsoever.

 

The person I replied to had a paid account.

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I really find myself wondering how PB expects to attract or retain enough users willing to pay $400/year to be successful. I honestly would probably have paid $100/year, and if introduced slowly, with advanced notice, and a more appropriate price point, I suspect PB would have retained most of their users and been ahead financially. And maybe they'll yet blink...

 

Yes, I agree with you completely. If they had begun charging a nominal fee and then increased it gradually to a reasonable price point, I suspect that many users would have gone along. I know I would. But this change to go from zero to $400 with no notice whatsoever really is galling. I hope you are right that perhaps they will blink.

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I hope you are right that perhaps they will blink.

 

I remember when Instagram changed their terms of service and essentially claimed permanent royalty-free rights to any photo posted on their service for sale to other companies for use in promotion or advertising and stated that if sued for using an image of an individual without permission or model release that the legal liability was the responsibility of the photographer. They lost 25%+ of their user base within a week and over half with in a month. New user signup virtually stopped.

 

They blinked.

 

We'll see if the fallout of such a draconian policy change at PhotoBucket is painful enough to flutter their eyelids. Maybe they decided that 1 million users at $500/year were better than 100 million mostly free users. As with everything, it all comes down to the bottom line.

 

Dave

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  • 2 weeks later...

I currently have the Photobucket Plus 50 Plan and as of right now, the pictures I added to the reviews I have done are still showing. The following was posted on Photobucket's website and shared by CC member Cruizer2 a few weeks ago:

 

"What users are affected by the changes to our 3rd Party Hosting

policies?

Moving forward, new and legacy free account users will NOT have third party

hosting available.

If you were a Plus Account subscriber in good standing as of June 1, 2017,

you will continue to have all the privileges you have enjoyed including 3rd

Party Hosting until December 31, 2018 as long as you maintain your

subscription.

Non Plus 500 Account subscribers that purchased after June 1, 2017 will not

have access to 3rd Party Hosting."

 

Last night, I received an email from Photobucket stating the following, which I have copied/pasted for accuracy:

 

"Are you worried about your account? Don't be! All of our Plus Members are grandfathered in for 3rd Party Hosting until the end of your current subscription. However, if you want to beat the crowds and upgrade to the Plus 500 now, we'll give you six months on us! Worried about cost? Rest assured, the price will be prorated depending on your subscription."

 

According to this email I received from Photobucket, it sounds like my 3rd Party Hosting will be disabled in November 2017, which is when my current subscription, the Plus 50 Plan, ends. When it appeared that any subscriber in good standing as of June 1, 2017 will continue to have all the privileges enjoyed, including their 3rd Party Hosting until December 31, 2018 as long as subscription is maintained, I was considering paying for one more year just to keep those pictures in my reviews. After receiving the email from Photobucket last night, it appears they are letting me know that this is not the case. I will not be renewing my subscription for the Plus 50 Plan because the only reason I kept it was for the 3rd Party Hosting. I know it's good to have photos backed up with an online photo storage site, which I do with Shutterfly. Shutterfly also has 3rd Party Hosting. When I did my reviews, I was not able to attach my photos from Shutterfly into my first review, so I went ahead and used Photobucket. Someone recently gave specific instructions for attaching Shutterfly photos in another thread, which I was able to get to work for me, so I'll be sticking with Shutterfly in the future if I choose to do another cruise review.

 

I contacted Photobucket inquiring WHEN my 3rd Party Hosting would be disabled, December 31, 2018 OR when my current subscriptions ends, which is November 8, 2017. As of now, I haven't received a reply. Anyone else get this latest email?

Edited by pghsteelerfan
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I currently have the Photobucket Plus 50 Plan and as of right now, the pictures I added to the reviews I have done are still showing. The following was posted on Photobucket's website and shared by CC member Cruizer2 a few weeks ago:

 

"What users are affected by the changes to our 3rd Party Hosting

policies?

Moving forward, new and legacy free account users will NOT have third party

hosting available.

If you were a Plus Account subscriber in good standing as of June 1, 2017,

you will continue to have all the privileges you have enjoyed including 3rd

Party Hosting until December 31, 2018 as long as you maintain your

subscription.

Non Plus 500 Account subscribers that purchased after June 1, 2017 will not

have access to 3rd Party Hosting."

 

Last night, I received an email from Photobucket stating the following, which I have copied/pasted for accuracy:

 

"Are you worried about your account? Don't be! All of our Plus Members are grandfathered in for 3rd Party Hosting until the end of your current subscription. However, if you want to beat the crowds and upgrade to the Plus 500 now, we'll give you six months on us! Worried about cost? Rest assured, the price will be prorated depending on your subscription."

 

According to this email I received from Photobucket, it sounds like my 3rd Party Hosting will be disabled in November 2017, which is when my current subscription, the Plus 50 Plan, ends. When it appeared that any subscriber in good standing as of June 1, 2017 will continue to have all the privileges enjoyed, including their 3rd Party Hosting until December 31, 2018 as long as subscription is maintained, I was considering paying for one more year just to keep those pictures in my reviews but after receiving the email from Photobucket last night, it appears they are letting me know that this is not the case. I will not be renewing my subscription for the Plus 50 Plan.

 

I contacted Photobucket inquiring WHEN my 3rd Party Hosting would be disabled, December 31, 2018 OR when my current subscriptions ends, which is November 8, 2017. As of now, I haven't received a reply. Anyone else get this latest email?

 

Thank you for posting that. Who knows what emails I've received. Photobucket was spamming me (an email per day suggesting different ways I could make Photobucket richer by making myself poorer. So now I treat emails from photobucket as spam. I am looking for a new site before my next cruise later this year.

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Thank you for posting that. Who knows what emails I've received. Photobucket was spamming me (an email per day suggesting different ways I could make Photobucket richer by making myself poorer. So now I treat emails from photobucket as spam. I am looking for a new site before my next cruise later this year.

 

I get those too. This past winter, Photobucket had a nice sale on their canvas prints (85% off) and took advantage of that. I was very haappy with the way the picture came out and ordered a few more when I received emails with discounts on them. I never paid full price. Those emails offering discounts on their products have been replaced with the constant emails to upgrade my plan, which I too treated like spam and deleted. I've been paying more attention to those emails after finding out about the 3rd Party Hosting. I'll be sure to post if I receive a response.

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As I mentioned in my post a few days ago, I contacted Photobucket to find out WHEN 3rd party hosting would be restricted on my account: It was stated Photobucket's website, and shared here by Cruizer2, that those who had Plus accounts in good standing on June 1, 2017 would continue to enjoy 3rd Party Hosting until December 31, 2018. Then I received an email on the evening of 7/24/2017 that stated "All of our Plus Members are grandfathered in for 3rd Party Hosting until the end of your current subscription", which in my case is November 8, 2017. I mentioned that I would post when I got an answer from Photobucket and I just received my answer (copied/pasted from email for accuracy:

 

"Thank you for taking the time to contact us, we really do value your feedback. Upon reviewing your account I have determined that the Plus50 subscription is active on a yearly recurring payment plan and is set to expire on 11/08/17. At that time an upgrade will be required on a new payment plan. If an upgrade is not applied on or after 11/08/17 the account will automatically revert to a free account, at which point only storage will be available (linking and 3rd party hosting will be disabled).

If you have questions regarding free accounts please check out the following article for more information: http://support.photobucket.com/entries/21114927-free-accounts

To upgrade your account, click here. Please note, your photos are safe and can always be accessed and downloaded when you are logged into your account.

Please reply back to this email if you have any questions."

I will not be upgrading my Photobucket account when my current subscription expires, so November 8, 2017 is when my pictures will go "poof". Nice how they post one thing on their website when that isn't true....

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I informed Photobucket that I was not interested in paying $400 per year just so I can continue to post to a third party site. There are many sites that will do this for $120 or less per year. Here is the reply I received ...

 

Photobucket Team (Photobucket Support)

Jul 27, 12:36 PM MDT

Hello!

Based on our Terms of Use, as a valued Plus member you will continue to have 3rd Party Hosting capabilities until December 31, 2018 with your current Plus subscription as long as you maintain your account.

After December 31, 2018 we ask that you please upgrade your account to the Plus 500 subscription plan. If you upgrade your account to our Plus 500 subscription before that date, please email us at plus@photobucket.com so that we can ensure uninterrupted 3rd Party Hosting capabilities.

We hope this helps clarify. Please let us know if you have any additional questions.

If you would still like to cancel, let us know.

Thank you,

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