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It's been about 6 months since Photobucket did its dirty work, and I browsed around last night looking to see what's happened since then.

On the one hand, PB has definitely lost most of its goodwill and reputation. Its ratings on multiple websites are in the tank. We all know everyone is extremely upset and while there's talk of lawsuits, I'm not aware of any that are actually in the works.

OTOH I did find an article discussing what this really means from a business POV. PB had a lot of free accounts, which lose money, because everyone has an adblocker up now and it's impossible to make money off ads. So the new policy dumped a huge amount of those loss accounts; no more need to service them.

According to one estimate, if even 1%, or possibly less than that, of PB's users pony up that $400/year, PB is still in the black. (Which makes me think of spam emails...) In other words, they make lots of money, but with a much tinier customer base to care for. That's win-win from a business prospect.

1% is not a whole lot of customers. Not sure what the hard data would be here, but it's easy to see why PB did this. Of course they implemented it in about the worst way possible, and a lot of sites offer more than PB does for a lot less of the money. But some people are desperate to keep everything working rather than move it all. (Not me; if I had a spare $400 it would already be used.)

And, of course, the upshot is that nobody else is going to offer free accounts with third-party hosting, because it doesn't make money. That's all there is to it.

Meanwhile, as a formerly paying customer of PB, I would have gladly paid a little extra to keep my 3rd party hosting with them, but not a 10x markup. Now I'm getting daily "your account has been restricted! You can't even access it unless you pay up!" emails as well as rather spammy emails about buying custom stuff from their store (which I couldn't do because I can't access my account...) and of course their third-party vendors "who may have stuff you'd be interested in!" (They don't.)

Makes me appreciate my SmugMug account all the more, PB.

This entry was originally posted at https://laridian.dreamwidth.org/2816106.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 16th, 2017 05:13 pm (UTC)
PB is harassing you with emails every day? I may understand the business perspective, but that's ridiculous! You know, if ads hadn't become so intrusive, adblockers wouldn't have become the thing, and services like PB wouldn't have ended up with so much trouble. Sound and video and chasing you down the web page? Sometimes multiple ads on one page, all screaming at you? Obnoxious, to say the least! I didn't mind the old days of quiet, static ads. I could just ignore them. I don't make purchasing decisions based on ads, anyway. I wonder how many people actually do.

All of this is the main reason I have my own domain. I can host my pictures from there, no probs. Two years at Dreamhost still cost less than one year at PB!
Dec. 18th, 2017 07:17 pm (UTC)
I hear you about those ads. I started using adblockers ages ago, and I know it's now an arms race between ads and adblockers. If I go to a site regularly, I'll whitelist them, but otherwise, too bad. So many ads aren't specifically targeted, which is also a mixed bag - on the one hand I don't want them targeted at me, but OTOH ads that have no meaning for me are ignored too.

(I even have the adblocker on my Gmail. I know they're still reading it, but I'm not seeing the ads, at least)

I was at least able to download and back up all my PB pictures before everything went belly-up. I just... don't look forward to redoing 10+ years of links... இ_இ
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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