Why is Photobucket holding the internet to ransom?
A very good article outlining how PB has effectively shot themselves in the foot with their actions. I totally agree. The way PB has done this almost guarantees they're going to lose nearly all their customers, not gain them. If they really wanted to make money, this was the worst possible way to go about it.
The big lesson from Photobucket’s ‘ransom images’ debacle via Yahoo!
In the article PB's CEO states he is 'blaming this shift on “the rise of ad blockers and the Company’s explosion of 3rd party hosting that generates zero revenue.”' Well, good luck making ANY REVENUE by charging people $400 a year. It's ridiculous! I can't imagine anyone paying that amount. If they offered a plan w/3rd Party Hosting for something reasonable, like $24 a year I think most people would gladly pay. But this huge jump is simply insane!
Another article by a blogger hit by PB's ransoming tactic:
Photobucket accused of blackmail after quietly requiring users to pay $400 a year to hotlink via The Verge
Gotta love Photobucket's totally clueless response on Twitter at the bottom of the article.
Photobucket addresses complaints over new policy that charges heavy users $400 via The Denver Post (PB is based out of Denver)
More totally useless explanations from Photobucket's CEO.
One thing I keep seeing online is people saying stuff like, "Hey, it was a free service. You get what you pay for." Well, I WAS paying for it up until earlier this year! I had been paying for 2 accounts, but when PB started becoming so difficult to use, I started using SlickPic more and stopped paying for PB. It doesn't matter whether you paid for PB or not when they're now charging $400 a year for any 3rd Party Hosting (which is something they encouraged people to do up until now!).
I also keep seeing people thinking this is just about image hosting.
I don't need PB for image hosting. I have back-ups of almost all of the images on PB (I hope!). What I used PB for was for linking images to LJ. THIS is what upsets the millions of PB users. All those many, many, MANY posts online are now totally useless! Images that were online for years and years are gone! Yes, they're supposedly still on PB, but that doesn't solve the problem of them being visible on the sites people have linked them to. For many of us, we're talking thousands and thousands of posts. Years and years of work that are no longer visible online. That's what hurts! And there's no easy solution. None. Except to forget about them and hope nobody will ever look at those posts again. Considering I've been posting to LJ nearly every day for the past 9 years, replacing all those links is an impossible task.
I'm seeing my Flist making posts about an online petition to get PB to turn 3rd Party Hosting back on. While this sounds like a good idea at first, I've done some thinking about it and have decided not to sign the petition.
PB is not what it used to be. It used to be a site that worked, that didn't have tons of pop-up ads, that actually cared about it's users. That disappeared a few years ago. They ruined the site, they ruined the ease of use and posting to sites. This is why I started up with SlickPic (and I'm so glad I did).
Why on earth would we want to go back to the garbage that is Photobucket???
Plus, do you honestly think that a company that has deceived it's users to this extent is going to suddenly do a 180 and give all those images back due to a petition??? I think not. They want our money and nothing else. Of course, they're not going to get it from most of us as a mass exodus is happening of PB users.
I've even seen on Facebook where a few users who have signed up for the $400 a year plan STILL DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO THEIR IMAGES!!! Why pay that amount of money if PB still refuses to turn back on the 3rd Party Hosting??? Why even trust them with your money after all of this? Their customer service sucks and they clearly don't care about their users. Their actions, of course, will mostly likely mean the end of the company. I can only say, good riddance!