I saw this coming a long time ago. I used to be a member of a scale modelling group called Flory Models, and I took part in a number of group builds. I posted a large number of photo’s, all hosted at Photobucket.
I kept finding that my photo’s were disappearing from the posts and when I went to find out why, Photobucket were telling me they were getting too many views, and I needed to buy a ‘pro’ account if I wanted them to not disappear randomly.
I initially did that, but it wasn’t value for money and I went back to a standard account. I then entered a new group build and because of the particular model and how popular it was (an Su-25, would you believe!) the thread got a huge amount of views and Photobucket all but suspended my account.
I removed everything from there and moved it to either my own website or to Postimage - who are miles better in any case - but I still get all kinds of threatening emails from Photobucket about deleting the images that I actually don’t even have there any more!
I don’t expect something for nothing - I even pay Google for storage space in addition to the website I use for storage - but I don’t want to be ripped off, either. Can’t say I ever trusted Photobucket after that first episode, either.
PS: I just read that article and the lady from Photobucket is lying. She claims subscription accounts were introduced in 2014, yet the above described happened in 2012. So they have been trying to coerce people into paid accounts at least since then.