After Some Skepticism, Photobucket Adds Tagging

Posted Nov 8, 2007

Subsidiary photo hosting company of News Corp./Fox Interactive Media/MySpace, Photobucket is introducing a new feature that revolves around “tagging.” Flickr has been utilizing tagging around its pictures for quite some time now, so this is just a way for Photobucket to play catch-up. Tagging means that a user inputs specific keywords that makes searching for media easier.

Let’s say that I upload a picture of Taj Mahal, some appropriate tags to put for the picture would be “Agra” and “India.” This way when someone visits Photobucket and your picture is public, the visitor can easily find your picture by searching for those terms.

How was Photobucket’s search based before? Users could only find pictures based on their titles. Why did Alex Welch, founder of Photobucket hesitate to add the tag feature earlier? Tag integrity. Users have the power to lie about what their pictures actually are to attract more visitors. This problem is very commonplace in the tagging feature for videos uploaded to YouTube.

For example, users may search for “bear” “eating” “salmon” but may end up finding a video of baby Lola eating some salmon, green beans, and bread. Therefore, I can see why Photobucket didn’t implement this feature right away. Well played, Welch. Well played.