Photobucket, the popular image and videos hosting website, quietly made changes to its policy last month and is now facing backlash for doing so. Apparently, the company now implied a fee of $400 per year for users to host Photobucket images on a third-party website. Until now the company had kept the services free and the sudden policy change is now described as ‘ransom’ demand by some of its customers.
The new policy changes came into light after a bunch of product images hosted on Amazon turned into broken links demanding for “ransom” to be viewed properly. Not only Amazon, but other e-commerce platforms such as eBay, Etsy, and others. As per policy updates notified by Photobucket in a June 26 blog, asking members to sign up for one of the “competitive subscription plans” outlined by the company.
— Photobucket (@photobucket) June 30, 2017
The change has not gone well with many Photobucket users and they took it social media expressing their concerns. Photobucket, which reportedly have over 100 million members and around 15 billion of images hosted currently, has not yet come with a response. The company has reportedly been facing quite a backlash for it and here’s how users reacted. ALSO READ: Alibaba launches Tmall Genie smart home speaker, takes on Amazon Echo, Google Home
This doesn't answer the question of why you went from free to $400/year, with no warning. Total insult to your users.
— Iain (@maccoinnich) July 1, 2017
Yes!!!! I can't get over the fact that they didn't give a warning at all. Who does that? 😡
— Carolina King (@MamaInstincts) July 1, 2017
if they charged $10 or something I bet most people would just cough up, but £400?????? LOLLL. Ermm Nope.
— Oblivion State (@oblivionstate) July 1, 2017
Thank you for all the good years ive had with your product. Now deleted my account due to the $400 blackmail. Good way to go out of business
— Stefan Bosman (@superdutcho) July 1, 2017
No, what I want to know is why you think ransom is an acceptable form of business practice.
— Adriana ♛ (@adrianaaaaxo) July 1, 2017
took me 5 min to get the download link. the speed of the download is based on the speed of your network. but i got a couple gigs in 30 min
— windy gaming (@windy_gaming) July 1, 2017
How to destory a buisness overnight. Even if you revert the change it's too late. The damage is now done and grows worse every second. pic.twitter.com/CkOi2ZRGMi
— Spammals! 🌐 (@Spammals) July 2, 2017
On the other side, Photobucket’ competitors seem to be getting benefits as users look forward to migrating to other free image and video hosting services.
I will not pay the ransom. I am setting up again with @SmugMug
Not free but low cost and they have been great to me
Avoid free sites.
— ThingsRegressivesSay (@attackthesauce) July 3, 2017
Welcome to the family!
— SmugMug (@SmugMug) July 3, 2017
I suggest coming down on the price or you'll lose most of your customer base. I can't afford that. There are other photo sites out there.
— Catloverplayer (@catloverplayer) July 6, 2017
We are ready for you. 😉
— SmugMug (@SmugMug) July 6, 2017
I ALREADY left! So did many others! Been with them for years and they pull this shit.. screw them.
— Kristie Hart (@written_whims) July 2, 2017