Free service is unsustainable in an age of online ad blockers, Photobucket CEO says

DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL - The rise of ad blockers and other trends in online advertising prompted Denver-based Photobucket to risk angering many of its 100 million users and start charging people to host billions of images used around the internet.

The 14-year-old company, which became popular as a way to share images on early social network, stopped offering free image hosting in late June, switching to charging subscriptions rather than relying on ad revenue.

“Major industry-wide changes in the advertising space have greatly impacted Photobucket, including the rise of ad blockers,” CEO John Corpus said in a blog posted Thursday, saying Photobucket’s had an explosion of third-party hosting that generates no revenue for the company. “This model is no longer sustainable.”

Photobucket continues to offer limited free photo storage — 2 gigabytes worth — but now it charges to store more than that, and only its $399.99 per-year plan allows users to link to Photobucket-stored images.

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