It’s hard to imagine a time on the Internet before Flickr, Picasa, and Facebook were our online shoebox, storing all our useless photos for us to remember when somebody “Likes” them and you’re forced to explain to your fiancee why, exactly, you publicly posted a photo of yourself half-naked and drunk.
And yet, in the wasteland that was 2004, we didn’t really have anywhere to store the photos nobody cares about, so we had to rely on sites like Webshots.
Amazingly, Webshots, an also-ran site that got passed around like a flask between 2004 and today (it was owned by American Greetings, at some point), is still around, and still hosting 690 million photos.
But it won’t come December 1st. That’s when it becomes photo aggregator Smile, and anybody who hasn’t confirmed they still give a crap about their photos gets their prized college memories flushed.
To be fair, if you had to pay the hosting costs for 690 million photos, mostly uploaded to your site by people who literally have not looked at these things in likely a decade, you’re well within your rights to assume they’re flotsam and deal with them accordingly.
Still, understandably some people are upset, likening this to somebody burning a shoebox full of photos. Except the shoebox is in somebody else’s house, cluttering up their closet, and it’s stuff like the photo up top.
Yeah, maybe Webshots is really doing us a favor.