December 30th, 2037

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Dept. of Needlessly Wordy How-To's

How to Use Google Drive as a 3rd Party Image Hosting Platform

So back when the horrid surprise of Photobucket’s greedapalooza was still fresh, a lot of people were looking for third party hosting alternatives. Someone out there had a really helpful list of potentials, but for various reasons, none of them suited me. I wondered whether I could make use of Google Photos as a third party platform.

As it happened, I couldn’t. Google had very recently ended its image hosting capabilities — unfortunate timing, that — but I did some poking about and found that there’s a work-around that lets you still use Google Drive as a third party platform. At least one person (hi,
[personal profile] azriona !) was interested, so this is my attempt to tell people how to use this process.

I’m including a link to the YouTube video that taught me how to do this, which you might prefer to following my step-by-step. Here 'tis:

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So you have your Google account and you’re ready to start.

  1. Choose an image to upload, possibly from your own newly-created “Fuck Photobucket” file on your hard drive. Upload it to Google Drive. If you’re using Chrome, you’ll do it thusly (and if you’re using Firefox, Safari, or whatever, it will probably be fairly similar.) Click on Google Drive. Once you’re in drive, click on New, which is near the top left. You should get a drop down menu that includes “File Upload.” Hit it, and pretty soon your picture will appear in your drive. I put all my uploaded pics in one Drive folder for ease of access, along with my Permalinks record, so everything’s in the same place.

  2. Now you want to adjust the picture’s “share” settings, so that it’s “Public on the Web.” How to do that? Your trusty right click button. Don’t open the picture; just right click on the thumbnail/description in the Drive list. When you do, you’ll see a bunch of options.

  3. Open the “Share” option. A window should open up. Pay attention only to “Advanced.” Click “Advanced.”

  4. You’ll get a different window. Look for “Who Has Access.” It will probably be set at “Private — Only You Can Access.” You’ll want to change that, so hit “Change.”

  5. You’ll get three options. The one you want is “On — Public on the Web.” Make sure that button is the one you hit, then hit “Save.”

  6. You’ll then have a “Link to Share.” Copy that sucker, and head on over to

  7. The very first thing you’ll see once you go to that site is a spot that says “Paste a Public Google Drive URL etc.” Put your URL there, and hit “Create Permalink.” Go down a little farther on the page, and there, under “Standard URL” you will have your shiny new permalink. Copy that permalink, along with a description of what the pic/image is, to whatever document you’ll be using to keep the information.

  8. Voila! You now have the code you need to embed your photo wherever you want to embed it! (If we’re talking LJ or Dreamwidth, you’ll have be able to insert it via the "insert/edit image" or "insert photo" icons. I do it in the rich text format.)  And, because you’ve saved the permalink and a description in a file somewhere, you can use the same code again and again!

  9. EDIT as of 22 April, 2019: It appears as if no longer provides the section of the code when it creates your permalink. Don't despair. Take the admittedly confusing very short piece of code you get when you hit "create permalink" - it'll be something like RbKx - and simply put in the in front. I'm not sure why gdurl is only providing the latter half of the URL,, nor can I guess whether this change will disappear and things will go back to what they were, but this is how to deal with it

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So there you have my extremely wordy how-to. I hope it might be of help to someone.

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