Photobucket kicks out all Free users of the image hosting service
Free users of the image and media hosting service Photobucket are receiving cancellation emails currently. The service informs users that it is ending support for Free subscriptions and that accounts have been deactivated as a consequence.
Deactivated accounts are not deleted and all stored images and video files remain in storage. Users may sign-up for a free trial or one of the three available subscription plans to regain access to their photos and media, and continue using the service. This appears to be the only option to export media.
The email provides the following information: "We regret to inform you that your Photobucket account has been deactivated because we no longer support free accounts". It goes on to explain how former users of the service may regain access to their date: "To reactivate your account, simply click here and follow the instructions provided. If you encounter any issues during the reactivation process, please feel free to reach out to our member engagement team for assistance".
Photobucket has published a help page on its support website that offers additional details. The company does not explain why it decided to end support for free accounts. Users may download their images and videos only if they sign-up for a free trial, which requires a credit card, or when they sign-up for one of Photobucket's free plans.
Photobucket's plans start at $6 per month or $65 per year. The company is holding a birthday sale currently that gives subscribers access to a Plus account per year for $50.
Photobucket launched a new version earlier this month that it says offers faster speeds, easier uploading and album management, a smart auto backup feature and a guarantee that images are not compressed.
The 2017 incident
In 2017, Photobucket, then a very popular image hosting service, announced that it would disable third-party hosting for all accounts. This lead to dummy images being displayed on numerous websites that used the image hosting service for that purpose.
Photobucket asked users to pay them $399 to reactivate third-party image hosting. This decision led to a mass exodus of users who found viable Photobucket alternatives on the Internet.
Photobucket changed course in 2018 when it introduced cheaper plans for users starting at $1.99 per month and restoring hosted images for a limited time for free users.
Photobucket has deactivated the accounts of all free users and asking these users to either sign-up for a free trial or a paid plan to regain access to their images and media. It appears that the kicked out users have no other recourse to regain access to their media, e.g., for exporting.
We contacted Photobucket for clarification and will update the article if we receive a response.Advertisement