Exactly. I used Photobucket for 10 years, and "3rd party hosting" was always free. Now they want $400 a year for the same feature!! The worst part is, instead of just telling users they need to pay going forward, they've also broken all the existing links to embedded images. That means for folks like me who've been using Photobucket for years, all those images - in my case, 10 years' worth on multiple forums! - simply disappear, replaced by some silly little graphic telling viewers I need to upgrade my account in order to restore the links! Seems the folks at Photobucket have taken a page from the playbook of the crooks who write ransomware virus code... I've told them to pound sand, and have found another site that will let me link my images for free. It's called IMGBB.com, it's a snap to sign up, loading images is simple, and it's free.
Whether Photobucket will lose enough subscribers to make them reconsider this greedy, obnoxious new policy remains to be seen. They may well figure they have enough paying subscribers that losing a million or so won't be a problem. Hopefully, though, they lose enough to cause them real pain. Frankly I don't care if they go bankrupt... I didn't use them for photo back-up anyway, only for image hosting, and all the images I uploaded to their site are safely stored on two external hard drives, so if they go under and my photos go with them, it's no big deal. I'm just furious at this new policy and the way they've handled the whole thing.