Photobucket added to photo hosting site search


Photobucket is out of the running. After trying it out for an hour or so, I read the terms of use and that was the end of my trial. So goes my search for a photo hosting site.


  • Bad user rights. On its terms of use page, you’ll see:

    By displaying or publishing (“posting”) any Content on or through the Photobucket Services, you hereby grant to Photobucket and other users a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license to use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content, including without limitation distributing part or all of the Site in any media formats through any media channels, except Content marked “private” will not be distributed outside the Photobucket Services.

    The emphasis is mine, and the sentence means that anyone can use your photos for any purpose. And that’s a BIG no-go for me.

    If you don’t care about losing all rights to your photos, read on for the rest of my brief review…

  • The main user page is littered with ads (for non-paying customers). My page has three relatively large ads and they’re all animated. That’s rather annoying. Still if you’re willing to pay (see below), you won’t be bothered by them. Otherwise, the site is functional, though is catered more to the MySpace crowd — MySpace actually bought out Photobucket, so this isn’t surprising.
  • User interactivity? I don’t see any. No fields for comments, no voting on good images, no user tagging, etc. Full sized images do maintain the full metadata, and while the default display doesn’t show the metadata, there’s a “show details” link at the bottom of each image to display the basic EXIF stuff. No geotagging display or ways to geotag your photos.
  • Only has online uploading, though paid version has an FTP upload. The bulk uploading page on Firefox 2 was messed up — my directory structure wasn’t displayed correctly. No support for TIF, only GIF, JPG, PNG and BMP. Doesn’t seem to have different sizes for use in different media (blogs, etc.). You need to create separate sizes or let your browser do the resize, which is generally quite bad. Has “tagging”, which is really not the normal tag definition that’s used. It’s more similar to the “add note” feature in Flickr, which allows you to identify and comment on specific parts of the photo.
  • The slideshow feature is good, just like Flickr, which auto-sizes your images based on browser size. Photobucket also has this other feature of creating custom slideshows from any photos in all your albums, which is nice. However, where’s the basic transition of fade in/fade out or even the switch-from-slide-to-slide transition? It has all these fancy I-want-to-be-unique transitions, but I couldn’t find the simple professional ones.
  • The free version has lots of ads on every page and provides 1GB of space and 200GB bandwidth per month. You also have a 1024×768 pixel limit to your images. The pro version is $25 a year with 5GB of space, unlimited bandwidth, and best of all, no ads. You have a image size limit of 2240×1680.

Bottomline, Photobucket isn’t a site for serious photographers. It’s aimed at the MySpace teenage crowd who wants unique 3D avatars, and fancy slideshows. You can get a feel for what Photobucket is just from looking at the list of new photos that were recently uploaded.


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