Photobucket is an American image hosting and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community. Photobucket hosts more than 10 billion images from 100 million registered members. Photobucket's headquarters are in Denver, CO. The website was founded in 2003 by Alex Welch and Darren Crystal and received funding from Trinity Ventures. It was acquired by Fox Interactive Media in 2007. In December 2009, Fox's parent company, News Corp, sold Photobucket to Seattle mobile imaging startup Ontela. Ontela then renamed itself Photobucket Inc. and continues to operate as Photobucket.Photobucket is widely used for both personal and business purposes. Links from personal Photobucket accounts are often used for avatars displayed on Internet forums, storage of videos, embedding on blogs, and distribution in social networks. Images hosted on Photobucket are frequently linked to online businesses, online auctions, and classified advertisement websites like eBay and Craigslist.
As of June 30, 2017, Photobucket dropped its free hosting service, and requires a US$99 annual subscription to allow external linking to all hosted images, or a US$399 annual subscription to allow the embedding of images on third-party websites, such as personal blogs and forums. This policy change, enacted with no advance notice, has been highly controversial. As a result, users who previously relied on Photobucket to freely host content embedded on forums, blogs, and websites must either pay the annual subscription (previously there was no charge), or switch to another 3rd party server (many of which are also shutting down or going to pay services; Tinypic, which remained free under Photobucket ownership, was shut down in 2019) and recreate every link (potentially thousands) for every photo previously linked to Photobucket.
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