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Who's Tops In Photo Sharing?

I was floored to read this blog post yesterday about photo-sharing sites from Web analyst LeeAnn Prescott, a research director at the market-study firm Hitwise.

The post leads off with the growing popularity of Yahoo's Flickr site, fueled by users of the soon-to-be-closed Yahoo Photos site moving their pictures over to Flickr. But to me, the surprise was waiting at the end of the first paragraph--the chart behind this link.

By those numbers, the market shares of Flickr, Kodak Gallery and Yahoo Photos look like an accounting error next to the 43.52 percent share of Photobucket.

I knew Photobucket was the most popular photo-sharing site in the U.S., but not by that much of a margin. And at first glance, it can be hard to see why it would be so popular: Photobucket is, to put it bluntly, an ugly site, without any of the clean graphics or slick animations of its competitors. It's like the MySpace of photos: Little about this site suggests any appreciation of good design or art, much less that the site's creators spend their weekends taking their own pictures.

Photobucket is, however, much more generous with its storage options: You can park one gigabyte of photos or videos there for free, making Flickr's free service look miserably stingy in comparison. Photobucket also tries to make it as easy as possible to use your photos on other sites; its standard photo view includes prefab links to each picture that you can paste into another site. (So many Photobucket shots were being linked to MySpace that the social-networking site's owner, Fox Interactive Media, wound up buying Photobucket.)

And yet despite all the people using Photobucket, it's sites like Flickr that have stayed in the public eye. A search of our site shows that we've only mentioned Photobucket four times over the last 60 days--while Flickr has shown up 25 times. This post, in fact, will be the first mention of Photobucket since the end of May.

If you're a Photobucket user, what led you to choose that site? If not, which sites are you using?

By Rob Pegoraro  |  July 11, 2007; 10:58 AM ET
Categories:  The Web  
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Comments

That is funny. Shows that sometimes the technorati get all obsessed in their own little world (flickr, picassaweb) and there actually is a silent majority on the Internet.

Posted by: G man | July 11, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I think you are looking at this all wrong. Think of all of the websites with pictures of their favorite celebrities. Then think of all of the bandwidth it takes to run those sites as people view/download all the images. A lot of those sites are closing due to escalating bandwidth costs and people are simply migrating the photos to Photobucket. This sort of thing isn't really possible using other sites.

Posted by: Wonder Y | July 11, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I use PBase. I'm a dedicated amateur phtographer and I find that most photographers tend towards either PBase, SmugMug and Flickr. Or else they do their own thing completely in Dreamweaver, etc.

Posted by: Chris | July 11, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I think of Photobucket as a way to outsource some of the bandwidth incurred with serving photos up on another site (myspace, forums, etc). I think Flickr has a different business model as more of a "photography destination" site.

Alan
www.cleverthink.com

Posted by: Alan | July 11, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm using Kodak Gallery (formerly Ofoto). As long as you buy one photo per year, you can keep your photos on their site for free. I don't know what the max is, but so far, its met my needs.

Posted by: H.C.D. | July 11, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

One of the biggest differences between Photobucket and Flickr -- and I use both -- is that Photobucket allows you to upload pictures from a URL while Flickr does not.

As others have mentioned, this makes Photobucket great for sharing celebrity photos or similar things that pop up on other Web sites without "stealing" bandwith.

Photobucket is relatively easy to use in terms of inserting photos into basic blogging/journaling sites, like LiveJournal.

But, I much prefer Flickr for managing, displaying and sharing pictures I take myself. The ability to both tag and group photos into sets that are easily searchable are things Photobucket lacks.

Posted by: Photoblogger | July 11, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I once used Yahoo photos, then moved to kodak for a few years. Recently I had yahoo move my old photos to Flickr, I got the free pro trial, and now I stopped using kodak in favor of flickr. Flickr with pro is just awesome.

Posted by: Pat | July 11, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Photoblogger: flickr integrates with blogger and other blog sites too.

Posted by: Pat | July 11, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

On forums everywhere, people are using photobucket - you want to crack a visual joke, so you dump the image on photobucket and drop the URL in the forum.

Flickr is the opposite (and even wrote its ToS to PREVENT what Photobucket ENCOURAGES.) It's not a link dump, it's a destination. "Come see my precious irreplaceable photos on Flickr!" as opposed to, "I just photoshopped Burt Reynolds' face onto Rob Pegoraro's body, to crack a joke in a Fark forum! I'm the funniest guy alive!"

Posted by: Farklover | July 11, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I've been using Google's Picasa recently. Over 2GB's of storage, and it comes with a simple, free uploading/retouching tool.

Posted by: Kim | July 11, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Have you seen izimi (http://www.izimi.com). Its photo hosting/sharing service is totally unlimited (any size, any quantity, any file type), plus there is no need to upload your photos up to ANY server before they become available, they just sit right there on your own PC and are available for you to embed into other websites in the normal way.
You just right click and izimi instantly gives you a URL, link code and embed code which you use just like you were using flickr or photobucket to embed the photos. You can literally do hundreds of photos in a few seconds and there are no limits and no censorship.

Posted by: david | July 12, 2007 6:33 AM | Report abuse

I also use the Google Picasa web feature because my main email is with Gmail and Picasa is a really great free program to organize all the photos and then all you have to do is select your photos you want to upload to the web and click a button to create a new album and decide if it is private or public and it uploads and resizes images if needed. Very simple.

Posted by: Aaron | July 12, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

oh yeah, forgot to mention that Picasa now lets you geocode (mark on a map where the picture was taken) your pictures using either Google Earth or Google Maps and then when you view the geocoded images on their website you can also see a map that shows where all the photos were taken... Being the geek I am, I love that feature.

Posted by: Aaron | July 12, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I use Photobucket, because when I wanted to post photos to a forum in which I participate, that seemed to be where most of the other participants posted their pics. It was easy for me to figure out, and I'm just knowledgeable enough about tech stuff to be dangerous. I also like the different links labeled for different purposes, so I know which one to use depending on what I want to do with the photo.

Posted by: Pamela | July 13, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Interesting discussion on photo sharing sites. There is a new site you should check out called Panraven (www.panraven.com). All of your photo sharing needs will be addressed, and you can create stories that can be shared online or professionally printed in books. The service is free, and offering a free book promotion this month.

Posted by: Andy | July 13, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Our jump to Photobucket stems from Google's need to link and know everything about us!! Recently, my roommate tried to send one photo from an album to a friend. We couldn't figure out how to send one photo without providing access to the whole album. He said he "used ta do it this way," but since he already sent it, I didn't delve much into his dilemma. Photobucket may not be pretty, but its ability to allow the user to provide a link to upload pictures is a definite plus. That's really all I want, not some pretty integrated, formatted site.

Posted by: umm.huh | July 13, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I like Flickr for the sake of browsing other people's photos as much as for sharing my own. It's just so distracting!

I agree with what people have said about using Photobucket to post on forums or myspace, etc.

For beautiful and easy web albums that don't get shared with everyone on the service by default I'm enjoying Phanfare.com's service. They aren't cheap (no free level of service), but they promise backups and full size downloads... I like their business model and Web3.0 concept. Worth checking out the 30 day free trial. I'm using Phanfare for my slides business previews now.

Posted by: Sara | July 13, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I needed to transfer the albums I had on Yahoo photos recently. I chose Shutterfly as it would transfer the albums entirely while I slept (sort of). There is no charge and since I only use it for photos I want to share, it has plenty of room for my uses. Also I can add information or captions to each photo, arrange the order, etc. So far, so good.

Posted by: Claire | July 15, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Have you seen izimi (http://www.izimi.com). Its photo hosting/sharing service is totally unlimited (any size, any quantity, any file type), plus there is no need to upload your photos up to ANY server before they become available, they just sit right there on your own PC and are available for you to embed into other websites in the normal way.
You just right click and izimi instantly gives you a URL, link code and embed code which you use just like you were using flickr or photobucket to embed the photos. You can literally do hundreds of photos in a few seconds and there are no limits and no censorship.

Posted by: david | July 16, 2007 6:19 AM | Report abuse

I have used Kodak Gallery (since it was a Seattle Film Company then Ofoto) because I love the products including the photobooks and the calendars. I love the file sharing that is not intimidating or impossible. And I love the tiny, simple and just what I need photo editing tool that comes from that site: OfotoNow. They develop my regular film, too, and I can get prints in an hour at my drugstore down the street. What else do I need?

Posted by: Rlangg | July 16, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

You may not get the Beautiful sites for Free, pay if you want the beautiful and best site. Photobucket delivers more than expected features for FREE and we are happy with the site and happy with the 43.52 share. I use Photobucket for storing and sharing my photos and videos.

Posted by: Raju Kanumuri | July 16, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I have been flickr members from 2006 and now i am a PRO flickr member and i love the way it is and until now it has been the best website to share my photos, as i am photograher flickr.com is the best medium to showcase my work, i recommend everyone to use flickr http://www.flickr.com

Posted by: Kailash Gyawali | July 17, 2007 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Comparing Photobucket to Flickr or Picassa is like comparing a Toyota Camry to a high-end BMW.

Both are good cars, but the latter get you to where you want to go in style.

I have Photobucket. But it's just that: a bucket. It's functional. I store funny crap I find online. But if I want to showcase my photography with the added frills of geo-tagging, interacting with different groups, seeing my friends' images, etc, then I'd use Flickr.

I think Photobucket's larger-than-expected share may be because people just use it to dump stuff onto it.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Comparing Photobucket to Flickr or Picassa is like comparing a Toyota Camry to a high-end BMW.

Both are good cars, but the latter get you to where you want to go in style.

I have Photobucket. But it's just that: a bucket. It's functional. I store funny crap I find online. But if I want to showcase my photography with the added frills of geo-tagging, interacting with different groups, seeing my friends' images, etc, then I'd use Flickr.

I think Photobucket's larger-than-expected share may be because people just use it to dump stuff onto it.

Posted by: Dan | July 18, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

And what about http://www.woophy.com?
It is an other idea, less specific map, but much faster. Gives already a good view on the world.

Posted by: simon | July 23, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

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