In Reply to: Re: post ing a picture posted by Tim Daley(MI) on July 29, 2017 at 20:08:34:
While I don't want to be seen as defending PB I do understand their problem. They have a massive user base and get tens of thousands if not more image download requests every hour. That requires a lot of network and server bandwidth to service and is expensive for them. Paying for that with third party advertising alone is difficult at best and it does nothing to slow down the packet torrent they are undoubtedly seeing. They may simply have reached the point where they couldn't stay in business without charging users for their services.
Imgur's Terms of Service make it clear they understand that problem and are prepared to act if it becomes an issue for them. If a bunch of disaffected PB users switch to Imgur and their network load gets too big to sustain with their current 3rd party advertising business model they will be forced to do the same thing PB did.
Everybody wants a free lunch but ultimately somebody has to pay for the fixings. Asking users to pay a nominal fee is not unreasonable. PB's new rates seem a little hefty and I have an alternative service I already pay for else I would have ponied up a few more bucks monthly. I predict free image hosting goes the same way as free web site hosting did. Once everybody starts charging it will be the norm, a few large scale operations will emerge and dominate, and the free image hosting business will be so marginalized as to be effectively dead.
I am old enough and have been in the business so long I can remember when everyone thought that new fangled Internet would be free for everyone. Between my smart phone data service, home data service, a domain name, and a hosted website I am now paying well over $100 per month for something that used to be "free" ;-)