I want to show a picture to people. But I can't send the picture itself because we communicate text-only. So I need to send a link to the picture hosted somewhere.

I used to use ImageShack for this, but now it is not free anymore:

Don't worry. Upgrade now and you can start uploading

So, what other options are available?

  • Free
  • Images are accessible via a direct link
  • Link is reasonably short
  • Viewers see no advertisement. Uploader can be shown advertisement.
  • Link is not too scary (imageshare.com/pic-of-my-cat.jpg is OK, but bit.ly/3yt9e53 is scary)
  • Logging in before uploading allows you to remove a picture in the future
  • Flickr maybe? AFAIK, it has all features you want, although you do have to login to upload photos (not to view them), and I'll have to look into short links. (can't answer myself now, don't have enough time)
    – nidunc
    May 23, 2014 at 6:08
  • I hate to say so, Nicolas, but isn't that asking for a service rather than for software, and thus off-topic? See: Are hosting recommendation requests on-topic? – and correct me if I'm wrong.
    – Izzy
    May 23, 2014 at 14:51
  • 1
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about hosting rather than software. May 23, 2014 at 14:55
  • 1
    Please reopen, this question is not pure hosting of a well-known software stack (like Apache/MySQL). On the contrary, this question is asking for a webapp with particular features, and actually not many solutions exist.
    – Nicolas Raoul
    May 23, 2014 at 17:36
  • 2
    @NicolasRaoul Not many solutions exist? There are more people providing some variation on this theme than I can shake a stick at. I'm going to have to agree this is closer to hosting than it is to software.
    – Caleb
    May 23, 2014 at 19:33

2 Answers 2


To my knowledge imgur is about the best there is in this class right now. Usage is free and while you can link to a page that includes the image along with comments and imgur site features, you can also direct link to the image and even embed in other sites.

Image links are reasonably short by default. I disagree with your version of what makes a url "scary" (in that real scary links often have intentionally harmless names that mask their nefarious purpose) and using a hashed id value should not in itself be a scary thing. At the same time, if you have an imgur account you can set custom urls for your resources as well as locate them on your own sub-domain.

And yes, if you upload from your account you may later remove images from circulation.

  • 2
    And let's not forget that imgur is also the website StackExchange uses to host images (when you upload images in the editor)
    – nidunc
    May 23, 2014 at 20:07

I like Dropbox for that. I most use it for screenshot sharing really really really easily and fast (print screen, dropbox (desktop) app automatically saves the screenshot, right-click the app and then copy the sharing url to the new file).

  • Free: Yes (well up to current free storage limit - currently 2gb but exandable for zero monetary cost through some actions).
  • Images are accessible via a direct link: Yes
  • Link is reasonably short: hmm well that depends on what reasonably is defined as; an example would be: dropbox.com/s/kzil0355ienrzko/Screenshot 2014-05-14 09.41.21.png - (the last part is just the filename you choose).
  • Viewers see no advertisement. Uploader can be shown advertisement: No adverts for anyone
  • Link is not too scary (imageshare.com/pic-of-my-cat.jpg is OK, but bit.ly/3yt9e53 is scary): well that's somewhat subjective... see above for an example. Yes it has a hash type segment but the last part is user settable (as it is the filename).
  • Logging in before uploading allows you to remove a picture in the future: Yes removal at any time is possible. (Note: with Dropbox you must login to upload.
  • I have recently abandoned Dropbox. I guess this is usable using only the web interface though, right?
    – Nicolas Raoul
    May 23, 2014 at 8:23
  • 1
    @NicolasRaoul Web interface is only one way to do it. The standard Dropbox client lets you establish a sync between your local system and DB; just place a file in the right directory on your system and it will get sent to the DB server soon. You can also use various applications that provide a pseudo file system locally but have no locally backed storage. Finally, they make their API public so you could always write something that fits your exact needs.
    – mah
    May 23, 2014 at 11:45

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