Thumbq - Image hosting and sharing

thumbqWith AOL, Google, Yahoo and CNet offering image hosting and sharing for very competitive prices, it takes either a lot of guts or a lot of conviction to come out with a new service that does the same.

Kailash Nadd of Commentful and fame (links are to my reviews of these services), two web applications that are simple but effective, today wrote me an email to tell me of his new service Thumbq, a what he calls “trendy, stylish, flexible and free” image hosting and sharing service. Now, I’m not one to to judge trendy and stylish, but it sure is flexible and free.

The sign-up process is quick, you don’t even need to validate your email-address. The service doesn’t have a bulk uploader, so the only way to upload is via a browser upload form:

Once uploaded, your images are automatically cut to various sizes, all of which can be inserted into your website, either with a direct link to the image or a little snippet of Javascript code:

Images can be arranged in collections, and for every image and every collection, an individual URL is created, which you can choose to share with whomever you like (using an “email this page” form):

A slideshow function is included as well, implemented smoothly with a javascript lightbox effect.

The service is rather basic, but that’s actually not a bad thing, considering that it takes about two minutes to set up an account and upload your first image. Website integration works flawlessly (the above images are hosted with Thumbq), and the whole service is rather intuitive.

Whether the service will find a following is not easy to say. Most people who are into photography have accounts with the big social photosites out there (Flickr, Webshots, etc.), and those who are only interested in hosting for their blogs and websites, quite probably use one of the many services listed at the beginning of this posting.

While I do appreciate the effort put into this ambitious little tool, I have serious doubts it will be able to hold out against the big players in this field, unless it can be leveraged as the quick and easy solution for people who don’t have much time and want to get things done without too much hassle. Whew, what a sentence.