Webshots No More

On October 2, 2012 Webshots was purchased by Threefold Photos and rebranded as Smile by Webshots. On that day, without warning, Threefold Photos surreptitiously installed Smile on thousands of computers.

People were justifiably outraged. the software took over computers, removed access to photos, broke the url links to millions of photos posted on blogs and other websites. The Terms of Use were changed dramatically; premium members were paying for services that no longer existed. Consumers who needed help were ignored, those who voiced their disapproval on Smile’s Facebook page were told to get over it or blocked from commenting on the site.

Tellingly, Threefold Photos is actually suggesting people move to competitor’s photo sites. Why would they do this? I’ll expand upon this in future posts, but here’s a hint: Space ain’t just a place where the moon and the stars hang out.

Webshots shutdown made possible by Threefold Photos, Inc., Message Bus, True Ventures, Mike Sitrin, Narendra Rocherolle, Nick Wilder and Josh Fraser.

14 thoughts on “Webshots No More

  1. I have used Webshots for over ten years. I spent countless hours searching for, and adding pictures to my albums, through the years, being a paying customer. My yearly dues were up, in August, and my bank card numbers changed, so the transaction didn’t go through. I am now glad that it didn’t, as I was totally shocked, the morning I booted my computer up, and it was taken over by the new Smile app, all the while deleting my Webshots desktop app, and photos. I really think this whole thing should be illegal, and would like to be refunded for my time, and years of payments, I paid for it. This “new” company uses very disgusting business tactics! They will cancel us, after 30 days, and plan on charging everyone for using the pitiful excuse for a new app that they made. I personally feel that they should let us keep the old Webshots app, and make it usable for those of us who have been customers for so many years, at NO charge, if we don’t want to download anything else. I have emailed them twice, and they sent me back the same stupid meaningless form letter, not answering any of my questions.
    What a VERY shady group of people they are. Class action lawsuit, PLEASE!
    Cheri C.

    • Hi, Ex webshot users. Yesterday I posted a reply to Cheri and guess what. It wasn’t posted. It just go’s to show how webshot smile doesn’t want members to air there opinions on there own blog. Come on Webshots Smile how about an answer to us the users of webshots for the years we supported you.
      Brian E

  2. Yes I totally agree with you. They have screwed it up completely to the end. As a long time user of Webshots I have completely removed webshots from all my PCs. As you say they sent users no emails regarding the changeover to SMILE.
    Brian E

  3. I have been using Webshots since 2000 and i am extremely incensed. I did not get a chance to see whether I like or dislike the new service because I CAN’T LOG IN. And unlike Cheri C my membership WAS renewed in August. The company has not deigned to fix the problem despite my requets. So I have billed for a service I am not receiving. This is a blatant breach of consumer rights. Daylight Robery!!!

  4. I too used webshots for over ten years with half a million views of my 1500 photos. i contacted smile requesting more info on downloading and how much space woudl be required on my computer and they did reply that they woudl get back to me. they then deleted my photos without responding. I am furious and disgusted. Can we do a class action suit? sign me up if we can. Ken fuzzybydesign photos

  5. I just realized all the Urls I had for pictures on a forum have been replaced with Temporarily disabled. I’m a paying member and I don’t see how this is legal either. This is very upsetting. I was a member for many years and had many albums.

  6. Hundreds of my precious photos were deleted without any notice from Webshots. The customer service representative had the nerve to suggest that my email filtered the notices as spam or that I had been using an expired email account (what??). I would strongly support a class action lawsuit against this terrible company.

  7. In some of the newer (Feb. 2013) posts, there is a place where they are gathering complaints for just this….class action.

  8. After several months I tried logging in to webshots only to find out my account is nonexistent. They supposedly sent out emails advising everyone but I never got any of them. I’m livid. I had saved thousands of photos over the years, many of which I don’t have backed up anywhere. I’ve lost all of my daughers’s baby pictures. All of them.

  9. Requested a refund from Smile they said OK … do not hold your breath it has not shown up as of today. Smile is a rip off & they destroyed Webshots !

  10. These guys are the worst sort of flim flam artists. They dismantle Webshots which my dad belonged to for over 10 years (back when it was free), premium membership expired in Nov 2012, before Smile started. No new membership was signed for and Smile was not loaded onto our computers because my dad passed away before the new owners took over. Nine months of nothing, no word, no refund for not finishing out the year on the old Webshots contract, no service from Smile and then they bring back Webshots and somehow justify charging all of the premium members even the ones who chose not to participate in Smile! They claim they sent emails to my dad’s account, I reviewed every email and spam sent to his account for the past year and there was nothing from Webshots or Smile. Dirty rotten bums…

  11. Actually, Webshots did tell me, and presumably every other member when the site was to close.
    They gave links to download all your images in zip files, which I did, though some pics are too small to use anywhere else.
    I am very miffed at over 7,000 images with millions of views disappearing from the web, and being told that the new “Smile” site, could only be viewed with a subscription!
    Not much point in uploading anything then, because they are not public unless paid for.
    Webshots has come back, and with “Freemium” free usage, but I can find no real information about that at all, on the site, just an obsession with credit or debit cards for paid use.
    Their forums don’t seem to be used all that much; perhaps it’s a case of one bitten, twice shy?
    I’m sticking with Flickr, and that too has its problems.

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