How to Enable 3rd Party Hosting on Photobucket

June 15, 2023

Whether you're trying to share your photos on your personal site or a forum, you may run into a problem when your pictures are no longer showing. This is caused by a change in the terms of service on Photobucket. They now require you to pay a fee for 3rd party hosting on their service.

This is a major turn of events for Photobucket, which once accounted for two percent of US internet traffic. Its users rely on it to archive their memories, and many of them use the service as the backbone for their websites. But the company stumbled into a huge public backlash when it abruptly started charging a subscription to embed images on other sites, including Amazon and eBay.

In June 2017, the site quietly introduced a $399 annual fee for third-party hosting, and it instantly blocked millions of hot-linked images on the web. Users were shocked to learn their images would be disabled until they paid the fee, which was widely viewed as extortion.

Photobucket is now under new management and working hard to regain trust after a disastrous turn of events. It's an uphill battle, however, because other free services are emerging to compete with its legacy. The smallest competitor, SmugMug, has already axed its free plan and rolled out a new version with a fixed price based on storage. In the meantime, Photobucket is offering unlimited hosting to its existing subscribers in an attempt to entice people to stay.


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