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ImageShack is a free image hosting website. ImageShack has a subscription service but the majority of its revenue is produced from advertising related to its free image hosting. The imageshack.us Alexa ranking in September 25, 2007 was one of the top 40, but now as of January 21, 2012 it's dropped to 147. According to Nielsen//NetRatings, ImageShack was the fourth fastest growing web brand in July 2006.
Several contributors to Draw Your Own Story have used it to host their comics.
The site debuted in November 2003 and has since grown greatly in popularity. The main page has a file selection field, where the user may select the image file to upload. The image file format must be either JPEG (JPG), PNG, GIF, TIFF (TIF), BMP, and the file must be smaller than or equal to 5 megabytes. Uploaded BMP and TIFF (TIF) images are automatically converted to PNG format.
After the file is uploaded, the user is redirected to a page containing different versions of URLs to the uploaded image. These URLs are preformatted in a variety of HTML and Bulletin Board code snippets, which can be used to hotlink them on websites and message boards. These URLs are not listed publicly, therefore only the user and the people to whom the user shares the URL can know the file location. In mid-2008, Imageshack began 'hiding' the direct link to images, in an attempt to reduce the number of directly-linked images, as they provide no advertising revenue. After receiving feedback from users Imageshack discontinued 'hiding' the direct links and placed them on the top of the page. However, it now claims you must register to see the direct link (viewing the image directly or reading the url from the source code also works).
Images are stored on ImageShack indefinitely unless the image or the user who uploaded it abuses the Terms of Service. The image will be rendered inaccessible if the image uses over 200 megabytes of bandwidth in a one-hour period. If the image in question is not accessed a single time in one year, they will remove it.
There is also a free registration service that gives the user the ability to see and delete their previously uploaded images.
In May 2006 it was reported that ImageShack serves 100,000 concurrent user requests during peak operation.
On July 10, 2009, at 7:34pm PST, ImageShack's services were compromised by the Antisec Movement, a group with the goal of eradicating the publication of security exploits. The group had gained control of the way images were being displayed, and as a result some images hosted by ImageShack were temporarily redirected to an image detailing the manifesto of the movement. The message adds that “no images were harmed in the making of this … image”, implying that ImageShack images were not lost. Normal functionality was restored less than two hours later, and ImageShack asserted that no user data or content had been damaged or lost.
Changes to Uploading
Some time in February 2012, ImageShack changed their policy of Image Hosting from allowing unlimited uploads to only 500 for free accounts, stating that they would delete any over the limit at the end of the month. They also prevented anonymous uploads from working. This, obviously, had a large effect on the contributors, who potentially would have almost every comic they ever uploaded deleted and be unable to upload more. Mass migrations to other image hosting sites followed.