I’m looking for a photo sharing site now that Yahoo! announced that they will terminate Yahoo! Photos. I think my requirements are simple and reasonable, yet I’m drawing a blank after looking at many photo sharing sites. Here are my requirements:
- Free service. I don’t have many photos. When I travel I take some pictures. I’d like to let my family and friends see them. That’s all. Paying annual fees for this privilege seems silly.
- Viewers don’t have to register. My friends and family will hate me if they must first register with the site before they can view my pictures.
- Bookmarkable address for all shared albums. I’d like to have a place for all my albums. They can just bookmark it and check it without me telling them that I added new pictures. Or they can go back and check my pictures from 3 years ago.
- Large size in slide show. Some of my family members are older. They will have a hard time seeing the pictures if the pictures show up small in the slide show.
- Keep my pictures without me doing anything. Because I don’t have many pictures, I may have a long gap between uploading pictures. Don’t delete my account or my pictures just because I haven’t uploaded pictures or done anything with the site lately.
I checked many photo sharing sites. To my surprise, not one met *all* of the requirements. Am I being unreasonable? I would think there are many casual users like me. I don’t need fancy tags, comments, hot linking, or any of the “web 2.0″ stuff. Here’s a rundown of the sites I checked. I only checked the features for free accounts because I don’t think my usage warrants paid “Pro” or “Premium” service.
Kodak EasyShare Gallery: Bookmarkable address costs $25 a year. My pictures will be deleted if I don’t buy something from them every 12 months.
Snapfish: Everyone must register before they can see my pictures. My pictures will be deleted if I don’t buy something from them every 12 months.
Shutterfly: Small picture size in slide show.
Flickr: Free accounts are limited to 3 albums (“sets”) and 200 pictures.
MyPhotoAlbum: Small picture size in slide show.
dotPhoto: Small picture size in slide show.
Photobucket: Uploaded picture size limited to 1MB or less for free accounts.
Smugmug: This site has good features, except there are no free accounts. Everyone must pay at least $40 a year.
What does this have to do with personal finance? Not much, maybe “there is no free lunch”? Companies don’t necessarily offer what the consumers want, especially not for free. I’m still hoping to find that perfect service that fits my requirement. Did I miss an important offering? Let me get a lifeline and “ask the audience.” Do you use a photo sharing site? Which photo sharing site do you think I should use given my usage scenario and requirements?
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