Photobucket has just revealed a vastly made-over user experience for its online photo service, which has usually functioned as a photo depository of sorts. The company says it's reacting to a recent survey it conducted which quizzed people about their digital habits--two thirds said they were disorganized in managing their digital pics and 83% said they'd like a solution. Thus the Photobucket revamp is intended to make it much easier to back up, share, and organize digitally stored photos and videos.
The company also revealed that it'll be launching a new Photobucket Stories feature in September, designed to be a way to curate the videos and photos you store in the service into a more narrative format. The idea is to combine text and imagery into a sort of 21st century photo album, so that you can share, for example, media from your recent vacation with friends in a more structured way than via a simple online album or via updates on Facebook.
Photobucket, which has previously been used for personal photo storage and for tricks like storing avatars for use on other online services, is reacting to the rise of services like Instagram and Viddy, which are, along with Facebook, changing how we share digital media online and which create de facto social networks as part of their sharing abilities. One key differentiator of Photobucket is that it's offering the ability to edit your media, but to preserve the original content in the database. This is similar to the way photo editing suites like Adobe Lightroom or Apple's Aperture work, and reinforces that Photobucket also works as a digital "locker" to securely store your images.
Photobucket has been in the news recently for a more controversial reason, where hackers used a relatively simple trick to access sexually charged images stored in some user's online lockers and then share them online. The company noted a very small number of users were affected and has reacted by protecting all new uploads with a scrambled URL to prevent snooping.
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