Space Ramblings

Photobucket Eats Tinypic, MySpace Eats Photobucket

I had been relying on Tinypic for a while to upload pictures and graphics. Tinypic was a simple and convenient way to upload a picture quickly without registering, without relying on user names or id’s and just point and click and move on.

For a while Tinypic had become somewhat unreliable as it attempted to integrate video sharing– but the videos never worked too well. Neither did the pictures. Then Tinypic seemed to pull out of it, returning with a snazzy if utterly unnecessary Web 2.0 interface and a few weeks passed and when I visited Tinypic– I was redirected to Photobucket instead.

Photobucket is an irritatingly ubiquitous site that requires registration and logging in to upload your images. The resulting URL they give you is long. Photobucket purchasing and destroying Tinypic is utterly senseless, because the only apparent thing Photobucket gets in exchange is to have Tinypic users redirected to the Photobucket page where they’ve given the choice of registering or going to hell. Now that’s a fantastically useless purchase.

Tinypic and Photobucket did two different things. Photobucket purchasing Tinypic would have been a sensible approach if they did it to capitalize on Tinypic users and capture a different portion of the market. Instead Photobucket destroyed Tinypic as its executives were no doubt certain in the tiny crevasses of their brains that certainly Tinypic users would now have no choice except to register with Photobucket. Instead Tinypic users have gone to Webshots’ AllYouCanUpload and similar alternatives. We’ll miss Tinypic, but we’re not surrendering to the Photobucket photopoly.

Now though that Photobucket has been purchased by MySpace it appears that Photobucket’s takeover of Tinypic had no real business purpose except to fatten the company and make it look good for a MySpace acquisition. Typical boneheaded dot.com business tactics that utterly ignores minor things like building a user community and a business model in favor of pointless takeovers.

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