The 'use to be free' photo sharing site FotoTime has either been forced or decided to go down the pay-only route. As we'd expected and even predicted long ago the revenues from merchandise (such as prints) was never going to be enough to support the huge bandwidth requirements of photo sharing sites. As from August 1, 2001 FotoTime will be charging $23.95 per year for image hosting (though you'll have 30 days grace).

The choice for those wishing to share the photographs on the net is closing in, each time a free site places a charge thousands of users migrate to another provider. That provider then can't cope and the cycle of charging continues. It's fair to say that photo sharing for free is becoming a fast fading option.

E-mail letter:

August 1, 2001

Dear FotoTime Members,

We are sending this letter to inform you about an important service change with your FotoTime account. We will continue to provide FotoAlbum free of charge; however, beginning August 1, 2001, we will be adding a fee for storing your pictures on the FotoTime website.

The base price for storage will be less than $2.00/month ($23.95/year). This amount allows us to continue to provide the high level of service you have come to enjoy, while remaining competitive with other photo sharing sites. In order to provide enough time for you to decide whether FotoTime is the best photo-sharing solution for you, we are providing a 30-day grace period before your pictures will be removed. Additionally, new FotoTime customers will receive a free 30-day trial period to evaluate our service.

By changing to a subscription site, FotoTime will be able to continue to provide superior long-term solutions for organizing, viewing and sharing your pictures. We are planning new and exciting features to ensure we reach our goal of becoming not only the easiest and best, but your photo-sharing choice.

It has been the explosive growth we have experienced in the last six months that is forcing us to change our business model. It was always our intent that sales from merchandise would provide the funds to support FotoTime’s growth. Unfortunately, sales have not been able to keep up with FotoTime’s increasing popularity and additional storage costs. We have also decided to continue our policy of not pursuing banner advertising due to the low advertising rates and the distraction it causes to your photo sharing experience.

We are just as passionate about our business now as when we started the company over two years ago. Our goal has always been to provide superior software and services with great customer support. We are financially sound and privately financed with no debt, ensuring a long-term focus while providing great flexibility.

We will provide free upgrades to FotoAlbum and continue with our plans for enhancing the integration of our website and FotoAlbum. For a summary of these plans, please refer to:
http://www.fototime.com/pages/FuturePlans

We hope you understand our position and will choose to continue being a FotoTime customer. If you wish to subscribe, you can view additional details at:
http://www.fototime.com/pages/subscribe

If you choose to not continue using FotoTime as your photo-sharing solution, you can find additional resources on how best to retrieve your albums and close your account at:
http://www.fototime.com/pages/RetrievePics

Sincerely,

The FotoTime Team