Photobucket Rules its Market

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Photobucket Inc.'s eponymous photo sharing site is by far the most popular in its category among U.S. users, dwarfing the traffic of competitors like Yahoo Inc.'s Yahoo Photos and Flickr.

Photobucket nabbed 41.4 percent of U.S. visits to photography Web sites in March, a market share that is more than seven times larger than its nearest competitor, according to Hitwise Pty. Ltd.

Yahoo Inc.'s Photos came in a distant second place with 5.8 percent, while Flickr, also owned by Yahoo, had 4.6 percent, Hitwise said Wednesday. Slide Inc.'s (4.5 percent) and Eastman Kodak Co.'s Kodak Gallery (3.4 percent) rounded out the top five.

Storing, displaying and sharing of photos is one of the most popular activities on the Internet, as digital cameras and camera phones have become ubiquitous devices in the general population. As such, photo sites are strong vehicles for advertising revenue.

Photobucket lets users store photos, slide shows, videos and graphics on its servers and then link them to other Web sites. It is particularly popular among users of the social networking giant site MySpace, from where it receives almost 57 percent of its upstream traffic, according to Hitwise.

Photobucket, founded in 2003, has 39 million registered users. It links its photos, videos and graphics to 500,000 different Web sites, according to the company. Its users upload about 7 million photos and 40,000 videos to the site every day.

Photobucket ranked 34th among ComScore Networks Inc.'s top 50 U.S. Web properties in March, with almost 16.8 million unique visitors.

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