#Hashtags 101

Jokes starting to fall flat these days? Are likes on your Instagram as elusive as parental love? Feeling a bit less relevant all around?

I’VE GOT THE REMEDY FOR YOU

Check out this overview on hashtags and you’ll be able to #wtf, #yolo, and #lol in no time! Your jokes will find relevance again, your Instagram will be flooded with likes, and you’ll #wreckingball right back into your parents’ loving arms!

What is a #Hashtag?

A hashtag is just about any word or phrase with the ‘#’ symbol immediately in front of it (no spaces or special characters), turning that word into a clickable link. A hashtag is essentially a way of categorizing a status update, tweet, image, or whatever you’re posting online. Think of it as a quick and easy way to file your social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) interactions away into different categories.

For example, let’s say your Facebook status looks a little like this: “I wish I had real friends who wouldn’t skip all of my interpretive dance shows. #sad”

This status is now “categorized” as, or tagged with, #sad, and the hashtag has now become a clickable link. If you were to click on that hashtag, or search for ‘#sad’, you’d be taken to a page displaying all other people who have also used the #sad hashtag.

You could also add multiple hashtags to gain more attention, or to make a point, to enter a contest, whatever! For example, let’s say I’ve turned my attitude around, and I want as many people as possible to attend my next event:

“Come watch my interpretive dance routine tonight, re-envisioning what it means to be a #vegan in a post-industrial society! #art #dance #denver #PETA #iloveyoudad #TGIF”

Get it? So ideally, anyone searching those tags will see your post, and be blown away by a synergetic explosion of modern art and academia – thus blowing up your likes on Facebook, Instagram, and the like!

#Hashtags + Photobucket

So what does this have to do with Photobucket? Well, you can utilize hashtags on Photobucket in two pretty swanky ways.

Claim Your Personalized Hashtag

If you missed it, Photobucket users can claim their own personalized hashtag on Photobucket. Adding your personalized hashtag to new Twitter or Instagram posts will automagically transfer the image and description into your Photobucket account.

Actually, anyone can use your custom hashtag. There’s a lot of great uses for this. For example, let’s say you’re throwing your hotly anticipated Epic Annual Holiday Bash 2014. Let your friends know that you’ve claimed the custom hashtag #pbEpicHolidayBash14, and that they should tag their posts with it. At the end of a raucous night, or more likely sometime the next afternoon, you can peruse an album full of #pbEpicHolidayBash14 memories shared by you and your friends.

Enter Photobucket #Hashtag Contests

We also hold regular #hashtag contests, which you may have seen in some of our emails (provided you weren’t too hasty in deleting them). You don’t have to have a custom hashtag to participate in these contests. Simply add the hashtag, called out in the email, to your Instagram posts or Tweets. This will enter your image into the contest as well as pull the image into the contest album. If you’d like to enter an image already within your Photobucket account, just add the hashtag to either the title or description.

I hope you learned some important stuff today. I know I sure did, like the hashtag #yolo is often used by those who are not actually taking advantage of the fact that #yolo.

Back Dat App Up — Auto Backup for Mobile

If you don’t have it already, here’s a link to the app for iOS users, and for Android users.

Question: What do all of these have in common?

  • Toilets
  • Rainy days
  • Toasters
  • Deep fryers
  • Cups of water
  • Cups of green beer
  • Gravity
  • Black holes

Answer: Thaaat’s riiight. Each one of these things desperately want to destroy that shiny smart phone of yours, as well as the cherished memories stored within.

As much as we’d like to have it, there is no galactic forecast that can warn us of incoming black holes, so stop dreaming. Practicing caution, on the other hand, is a freely available resource. Let’s set up that Photobucket app to automatically back up your photos and videos, and do it before it’s crushed into an infinitesimally small singularity, or fried into a delicious snack.

BACK DAT APP UP

If you’re a first time Photobucket app user, you’ll be prompted right away to turn auto backup on. Let’s say you’ve already chosen to disable auto backup, but the prospect of terrifying black holes has changed your mind. No worries, it’s easy to turn it back on!

Fire up the app, then hit the menu icon  in the top corner. For iOS users, tap Backup, then tap Enable. Only the wording is different on Android – tap the menu icon, then tap Backup, then tap Start Auto Backup.

That’s it! You did it! For iOS users, head over here for more info on your auto backup options (wi-fi only, default album, etc.). Android users, click here.

Well done, be not afraid of losing your images! Now go out into that big world of infinite possibilities, grab it by the shirt collar, and live.

Keep Your Photobucket Private and Hidden from Search

In an age of so much technical progress, somehow our privacy is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain. At Photobucket, we want you to be happy, and to be confident that nobody is snooping through your private photos.

Occasionally, we receive comments from users who are vetting their own persona in anticipation of job interviews, school applications, and other such things where one’s reputation needs to be cinched up and professional. Some of these people are surprised to learn that their Photobucket account is readily searchable through Google or other search engines!

We all like to have fun, and sometimes that fun can look a bit ridiculous, so I’m here to help you keep that under wraps.

Would rather keep this private.

So you’ve Googled your name and found some photos that you want out of there, like yesterday. Well, assuming you have your log in credentials, let’s take that correct first step.

1 – Sign in, set your albums to private, & scramble

You can set all your albums to private at once. That was easy! Alternatively, if you just have an album or two that you’d like to set as private, check out this article.

As an additional step to securing all of your photos, you can scramble your image links as well. This will instantly, and irreversibly, scramble the link code for all of your images. This means that any image previously linked outside of Photobucket (forums, blogs, the whole shebang) will be broken, so be wary.

What you just did:

  • Stopped Google from crawling any images located under a private album
  • All scrambled images linked out, whether on forums, blogs, or Google search, are now dead – clicking on the image will no longer take the person to your account

2 – Remove your public information from the user settings

Were you aware that you can share your public information under your user settings? It’s a great way to link to your personal/professional blog or portfolio, etc. However, if you’re using Photobucket just for your own, private use, you probably don’t want anyone tracking down your Photobucket.

No worries. Easy fix.

Since you already signed in, head to your user settings. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see this box:

Any information listed in this box is being crawled by search engines, meaning that this information is searchable. To keep your name and Photobucket from showing up on search engines, delete all the information in this box, and then click ‘Save’ at the bottom of the page. Easy peasy.

3 – Test it out

Once you’re done tidying things up on your Photobucket account, let’s put it to the test and make sure your account is completely private! After giving it some time, maybe 30 minutes or so, try running through these steps:

  1. Log out of your Photobucket account
  2. Clear your cache and cookies (important!)
  3. Search for your name + Photobucket in Google – are there less results? There should be!
  4. If you still see some of your images or links to your Photobucket account, try clicking the link/image – your account should no longer be accessible to the public and the link should be broken

Now, for those pesky thumbnail images that are still hanging around…

4 – Remove your thumbnails and links from Google search

Sometimes, even after taking the above steps, users still see their thumbnail images/links on Google! This is because they are cached by Google, so they may continue to show up for a while, even after making your images private and removing your public information.

That being said, there is a way to speed up the process! Click here to read an article on Google support forums that explains how to put in a request for immediate removal of your thumbnail images and/or links.

5 – Congrats!

You’ve done it! You’ve successfully removed your Photobucket presence off of public search, you sneaky sneakerson.

Getting to Know the All-New Photobucket Mobile App for Android: Auto Backup

Don’t have the app? Get it!

AUTO BACKUP


Our new Auto Backup feature makes securing your mobile photos a breeze. Auto Backup will automatically upload each new photo you take to a new album in your Photobucket library. The album will be private by default, so nobody else can see your images.

To enable auto backup, first tap the Photobucket icon in the top left corner of the screen. This will open up your menu. Now tap Backup.

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Tapping Get Started will immediately begin the backup process.

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This will begin uploading all photos and videos on your phone into the album Mobile Uploads, in your Photobucket account.

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Instead of uploading all your stored photos into one album, the Photobucket app will conveniently sort your photos into new albums by year/month.

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ADJUSTING BACKUP SETTINGS


You can always turn Auto Backup on/off, or adjust when you’d like to automatically backup your photos – either only when connected to wifi, or over the air (using your data plan).

First, open up your menu by tapping the Photobucket icon in the top left corner of the screen. Tap settings.

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Now tap Auto Backup.

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Tap Auto Backup to turn backup on/off.

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Once Auto Backup has been enabled, tap Wi-Fi Only to allow backup only over a wifi network (this option will not use your data plan and only begin backing up your photos once connected to a wifi network).

Unchecking this option allows the app to backup your images at any time (this option will use your data plan if not connected to a wifi network).

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Please note - uninstalling and reinstalling the Photobucket app will cause auto backup to begin uploading all photos on your phone, regardless of whether they have already been uploaded previously. 

Getting to Know the All-New Photobucket Mobile App: Editing Photos

There are a few different ways to access the editor:

  1. From the Home page, tap Edit on any of your recent uploads
  2. Open an image and then tap the editor symbol, a pencil, at the bottom of the screen
  3. Taking a new photo and uploading from within the app will automatically open up the editor

edit

Once you’re in the editor, things are fairly straight-forward. The editor functions exactly the same as the editor on our full site. To see a breakdown of the functions and the details of what they do, head on over to our editing article here.

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Once you’re done with your edits, the app saves and uploads the newly edited image as a separate file, and keeps your unedited original image.

 

Getting to Know the New Photobucket for Android: The Basics

Don’t have the app? Get it!

GETTING STARTED


After starting up the app, you have the choice of signing into your account, creating a new account, or just browsing through some photos. Let’s start by signing in.

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HOME


Once logged in, you’ll land on our beautiful and functional Home screen. Not only can you scroll through your recent uploads, but you can share them, or enhance them using our powerful editor, which has all the same tools you’d find on the full site!

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UPLOADING


You can begin uploading right away by tapping the camera icon below, or take a new photo for you to edit and upload.

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After tapping upload, select one or more photos that you’d like to upload.

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After selecting your media, tap UPLOAD.

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Your upload will begin once you choose your destination album.

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LIBRARY


Access the app menu by tapping on the camera icon in the top-left corner of the screen. From here, you can Browse users’ public images, head to your Library, set up Auto Backup, or access your Settings.

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Tap My Library to open up your album tree. On this screen, you can create additional albums by tapping the ‘+’ icon in the corner of the screen. If you don’t see an album that should be there, tap the refresh icon.

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Once you select an album, you’re greeted with a gorgeous display of all your images. Just scroll down to see the rest of your album. Tap an image to view in full screen, or tap the menu icon at the top right corner of the screen for options.

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From this menu, you can share the album, move/delete photos, upload more photos, or delete the album (if you’re trying to share just a single image, just tap the image and then tap the share icon at the bottom of the screen).

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BROWSE


Use the Browse option to scan through preset categories of public user images. Access Browse through the menu.

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There are several categories, each with sub-categories, for you to explore. If you have something specific you’re looking for, you can do a keyword search by tapping the magnifying glass at the top of the screen.

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