I’ve had a Flickr account for several years now and I like the service so much that I have paid a little extra for the privilege since 2007. I’ve also had a Photobucket account for about the same length of time, but I haven’t used that much. Mainly because I prefer Flickr’s interface and facilities.
I think that photo hosting sites like these two are essential in today’s online world. With both services, you can show your favourite pictures to anyone and everyone around the world. You can set access controls to individual images so that some can be totally public and some private to only selected viewers. For me the most useful facility is that I can insert pictures into my blog directly from Flickr/Photobucket. Both sites offer editing facilities – Flickr uses Picnik and Photobucket uses Fotoflexer, both of which are useful editing sites (I prefer Fotoflexer).
However, Photobucket presents non-stop video advertising during the time you are uploading images and I find this intensely irritating. By comparison, I also have a different ‘free’ Flickr account where the adverts are far less intrusive, whilst on my main ‘paid’ Flickr account there are no adverts at all. I think that I prefer this option. By paying just a little over $47 every two years, I avoid all of the irritation of advertising (I even record T.V. programmes, so that I can fast forward through the adverts) and am not limited to the number of images I upload.
I don’t think that there’s a ‘pay for’ option on Photobucket.
Another service that puts Flickr in front for me is the fact that I can attach various levels of Creative Commons to my images and that I can search for similarly usefully copyright free(ish) images on the site.