Photobucket have changed their T&C's as of 20th June 2017 without any notice
It is one thing to charge for a service, I think we all get that but quite another to literally overnight and without any notice to change your terms and conditions so that bloggers who have hosted images on the site for free for a decade are now being asked to pay $39.99 per month or $399 per year. Come on Photobucket, I had 14 photos on there that were hot-linked onto my blog and I'd have happily paid you a couple of quid a month but what you are asking for is ludicrous. It's not like I'm hosting thousands of photos or taking masses of bandwidth.
Yes Photobucket, I get that you are a business and you have obviously realised that the business model you were following is not working for you any longer. Fine, send your customers an email and give them a chance to pay or host elsewhere but no you decided to hold us to ransom and completely muck our blogs up. It is so unethical it is unbelievable. I truly think you have shot yourself in the foot, as everyone I know is leaving you now.
Thursday morning I started to get messages to ask if I had been hacked as this is what my blog looked like but no it was just Photobucket turning each one of my tiny subject header images into massive ugly black images, seven deep. You had to scroll for an age before you could find any content at all.
Was I going to pay the Photobucket ransom? Hell no. If they can't ask for a reasonable rate I'll just go elsewhere.
I went into Photobucket and downloaded the images that I needed. This is very easy but boy do the adverts drive you a bit bonkers as you try to navigate the pages. Just look through your library and then click on the image to open it. If it is one you have hosted elsewhere it will show with that awful black image but when you download it (bottom right corner), it will be your regular photo with your original image name.
Once you have all your images back you are then free to host them somewhere else. I now know that I can get the source code for linking from a draft post within either Blogger or WordPress.
So paste your image into a draft post (I called mine Image Hosting so I'll always remember what it is and not delete it) and then within the text tab (on WP) or the HTML tab (on blogger) you'll see the image code.
Once your image is there, the code will look similar to this and you just need the URL that comes after SRC="
You can then replace wherever you have the Photobucket image code with your new code and Bobs your uncle, no more ugly Photobucket black dial images anymore.
As a Linky Host - If your linky badge is now broken, you'll need to create new code to use on your blog and ideally go into your old posts and change the code to the new badge (or just remove the old one) as at the moment that broken badge will be showing all across the blogs of anyone who joined in and took your linky badge, but sadly there isn't anything you can do to help this except apologise.
Joining in with someone else's Linky - If you've joined in with a linky and the badge is now broken and ugly on your blog post, I'd advise contacting the linky host and asking them if they will be continuing to use Photobucket by paying the fee. If they are the image will reappear and all will be fine. If not, you'll need to delete the badge as it will remain the ugly black image forevermore.
I don't know is the honest answer. There used to be the option to have a paid account for $2.99 a month and this made your viewing ad free and gave you additional bandwidth. It appears at the moment that anyone who was lucky enough to have subscribed to this before the T&C changes on 20th June 2017 are still get linking and 3rd party hosting rights. Will they change this? Your guess is as good as mine but if I was a customer I certainly wouldn't be trusting them after this stunt. My guess is that you'll get to your next renewal date and be presented with new terms but my only basis for that guess if their utterly abysmal behaviour in the last week or so.
They seem to be keeping pretty quiet on their public pages but they are answering DM's on Twitter and emails too. You only have to search Photobucket on twitter to see why they are keeping quiet, there are hundreds, or even thousands of very unhappy, departing customers!
Their email is firstname.lastname@example.org and you can find them on Twitter or Facebook.
Closing Your Account
I am just about to do this. You go to Settings > Account and scroll down for > Delete my account and this will delete all your images permanently so make sure you have downloaded anything you want first.
I truly hope Photobucket haven't caused you as much faff and heartache as they have done me! Mich x
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