Photobucket.com is an online photo, video and graphics sharing site. Users can create albums, slideshows and scrapbooks. The site features an excellent browser-based image editor, and users can create group albums which allow several different people to upload images with a common theme. Photos and videos can easily be shared on MySpace, Facebook, Blogger, LiveJournal or via email. The site also provides a convenient place for hosting photos that are too large to be uploaded to the user’s blog or social networking site, with each image uploaded to the site having a link assigned to it.
Users can upload photos easily from their computer hard drive, from web URL, from a mobile phone, via email, or from the Ask toolbar.
Prints can be ordered on the site directly from Target or Kodak. Users can also order mugs, T-shirts and playing cards with their photos printed on them. The site also includes a feature called remix, where a user can create a custom presentation that contains photos, videos, and background music. There is also a feature called fotowall, which allows the user to create a collage of different photos.
Photobucket.com was founded in June 2003 by Alex Welch and Darren Crystal. The Denver, CO-based company was acquired by Fox Interactive Media, parent company of MySpace, in May 2007 for $250 million.
The site continues to experience unprecedented growth, and currently serves tens of millions of unique monthly visitors. The site has an Alexa page rank well below 50, making it one of the top destinations on the Internet.
Competition to Photobucket comes from sites like ImageShack and Flickr. Both of these sites offer similar features, but neither site has the large userbase enjoyed by Photobucket. ImageShack is a less cluttered, simpler service, while Flickr has a similar look and feel to Photobucket. Both sites, like Photobucket, are advertising-supported with paid premium memberships available.
Photobucket has a somewhat cluttered look, with lots of links on any given page. The site also displays advertising, which is at times quite obtrusive. Navigation is intuitive, with a convenient top menu bar shown on all pages of the site. Given the amount of images displayed on the site and the advertising, page loads can be somewhat slow. Also, file uploads are somewhat slow.
Registration at Photobucket is free, and the registration process asks for username, password, first and last name, email address, gender and date of birth.
A free account provides up to 1GB of storage, with file sizes limited to 1MB. In addition, monthly bandwidth is limited to 25GB and image size is limited to 1024x768.
Upgrading to a Pro membership costs $3.95/month or $39.95/year. The Pro membership removes the bandwidth restriction, provides up to 10GB of storage, increases file size to 5MB and image resolution to 2240x1680. Payment methods accepted for the Pro membership include Paypal, credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Amex), and personal check or money order.
Photobucket is recommended to anyone having a need for an online image and video storage and sharing solution. Whether for a blog, or for Ebay listings, or just a place to share images and videos, Photobucket provides a convenient solution.
The free account provides quite a bit of capability, and the Pro membership price is reasonable for more demanding users.