14 votes

What online services do you use to host and share photos?

Services like Facebook, Instagram, Google Photos, iCloud Photo Sharing, Flickr, SmugMug, 500px, and more are available for hosting and sharing photos online. I'm curious what service, or set of services, you you use and how you decided. Do you cross post between them, and if so what strategy do you use?

I'm currently spread a bit and without much cross-posting between Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr. Not a strong conscious decision, though I've been wanting to do a bit more photography and would like to figure out a better strategy.

I think some key points to consider are cost (free vs pro, ease of upgrade/downgrade), storage space and restrictions (total space, max individual size, filetypes, enforced resizing/compression), ease and control of sharing publicly or privately, network audience and reach, and creative rights (who owns what rights on the content)

This Terms of Service; Didn't Read site can be helpful for at least determining what the general rights on these services are with some broad judgement.

12 comments

  1. [3]
    Beagon
    Link
    I'm self-hosting NextCloud and I've set up the mobile client to automagically upload to it. If I want to share a folder or a photo I just generate a share link.

    I'm self-hosting NextCloud and I've set up the mobile client to automagically upload to it. If I want to share a folder or a photo I just generate a share link.

    8 votes
    1. hail_hydrogen
      Link Parent
      If OP is capable of making the setup and installation, this is one of the best options available. A raspberry pi 3 and a 1TB hard drive and you wont have to worry about space for a long time and...

      If OP is capable of making the setup and installation, this is one of the best options available. A raspberry pi 3 and a 1TB hard drive and you wont have to worry about space for a long time and constant cross post. It may be more expensive upfront than most services but at least you own everything that you upload there. As far as I know there is no compression and you have fine control to whom you share the photos. Energy consumption should be very low. The only problem might be if you don't use any redundancy there is the possibility of losing the data. If the setup is a problem I remember a while ago, nextcloud used to sell a pre-built kit.

      2 votes
    2. edenist
      Link Parent
      Second vote for self-hosted Nextcloud here. It's great to have all of your photos on your own systems under your control.

      Second vote for self-hosted Nextcloud here. It's great to have all of your photos on your own systems under your control.

      1 vote
  2. ReapersGale
    Link
    I use dropbox with it set to automatically sync any photos/video I take - it is possible to share but I primarily have it for backup purposes. Primary reason I'm using it is because my Galaxy S3...

    I use dropbox with it set to automatically sync any photos/video I take - it is possible to share but I primarily have it for backup purposes.

    Primary reason I'm using it is because my Galaxy S3 came with 50gb free for a year and when it ended it gave me a permanent 5GB on the account - combined with other promos and referrals I've got ~10GB on a free account which is plenty for me.

    I recently accidentally wiped my 2FA key for the account and verification to get it disabled wasn't some click the link we emailed you or 100 points of ID - had to contact support and answer a good 20+ questions about the account in order to get 2FA disabled in order to get back in and set it up again, some might find that a pain but I was impressed.

    4 votes
  3. [3]
    krg
    Link
    I backup my photos with Google Photos and I share them by pulling up interesting photos on my phone and showing those around me. That's about all the audience I need at a given moment. You might...

    I backup my photos with Google Photos and I share them by pulling up interesting photos on my phone and showing those around me. That's about all the audience I need at a given moment.

    You might be interested in Textile Photos.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      Luna
      Link Parent
      Google Photos is great. It's Google (so they're probably mining everything they can) but the search is excellent and pictures/videos from my phone (Pixel 2) don't count against my Google Drive...

      Google Photos is great. It's Google (so they're probably mining everything they can) but the search is excellent and pictures/videos from my phone (Pixel 2) don't count against my Google Drive quota. My mom's family has switched to it for organizing photos from reunions because it's easy to use (even for my grandmother who struggles to power cycle her router) and doesn't recompress. Plus, unlike iCloud, you can remove photos from your device to free up space without deleting them entirely.

      1 vote
      1. TheJorro
        Link Parent
        The automated album makers and facial detection is honestly a godsend for finding pictures you're pretty sure you saw a year or two ago from that one Thanksgiving? Christmas? Easter maybe where...

        The automated album makers and facial detection is honestly a godsend for finding pictures you're pretty sure you saw a year or two ago from that one Thanksgiving? Christmas? Easter maybe where your grandma and your cousin? aunt? I dunno, someone and your grandma was there and it was really cute.

        2 votes
  4. PopeRigby
    Link
    Pixelfed is pretty great. It's like Instagram but it's... Free Open source Self-hostable Privacy respecting Has a great Interface Federated/decentralized (if you don't know that is, watch this. It...

    Pixelfed is pretty great. It's like Instagram but it's...

    • Free
    • Open source
    • Self-hostable
    • Privacy respecting
    • Has a great Interface
    • Federated/decentralized (if you don't know that is, watch this. It explains how Mastodon works, but also applies to Pixelfed. Mastodon is like Pixelfed, but it's a Twitter alternative instead of an Instagram alternative.)
    4 votes
  5. runtime
    Link
    I use iCloud for all my photos. I had a very strong aversion to hosting my photos somewhere else for years, especially since I already had a home server. I tried NextCloud, Plex, and a bunch of...

    I use iCloud for all my photos.

    I had a very strong aversion to hosting my photos somewhere else for years, especially since I already had a home server. I tried NextCloud, Plex, and a bunch of other things. Nothing even comes close to iCloud as far as features and UX go.

    My aversion was because of privacy reasons (they're photos, obviously supposed to stay private) as I had Android phones for years and never trusted Google for much of anything.

    When I got an iPhone and multiple Apple devices, I started to reconsider. The hard stance Apple has taken for user privacy really convinced me, and I can feel confident that my photos will remain private with iCloud, as opposed to Google Photos.

    3 votes
  6. Tau_Zero
    Link
    A bit more detail about my current setup. All photos sync from my iPhone to my Macbook in a Photos library (sometimes the magic syncing works, other times I have to plug it in and import). I've...

    A bit more detail about my current setup. All photos sync from my iPhone to my Macbook in a Photos library (sometimes the magic syncing works, other times I have to plug it in and import). I've got that laptop (including photos) backing up to a desktop at home with syncthing on the LAN. I really should get around to setting up off-site long term backups in general.

    For sharing photos, I don't share a lot but I'm trying to set it up like:

    • Flickr - The "good" photos. Is there artistic merit? Will it appeal to people who have no connection to me? Mostly travel and event albums.
    • Facebook - The "personal" photos. Ones that only have worth within my social circle (My facebook friends list is small and only real-life friends and family). Group shots, parties, my cooking, etc.
    • Instagram - Bit of a middle ground between "good" and "personal", mostly stand-alone shots (rather than albums). Interesting subjects, travel, etc.

    It's far from perfect, so I'm open to change. Facebook has the worst rights, but the most friends and engagement, followed by Instagram with a fair bit less. Flickr only has two or three friends and recently reduced the Free tier limits, but has the best rights (and I'm happy it's separated from Yahoo now). Sharing links to Facebook with the biggest audience don't get nearly as much traction as native (share cards don't always look great, requires someone to leave the site, etc.), and I worry any cross-posting will get annoying to friends/followers on more than on service.

    2 votes
  7. zerotozero
    Link
    Photos and home videos find their way to a couple of Plex servers that a few family members manage.

    Photos and home videos find their way to a couple of Plex servers that a few family members manage.

    1 vote
  8. ubergeek
    Link
    Nextcloud for auto-sync, but pixelfed for the more "instagram" type sharing.

    Nextcloud for auto-sync, but pixelfed for the more "instagram" type sharing.