Often, I need to host an image that I want to post in a forum or phpBB site that doesn't accept attachments. I used to use ImageShack until they started charging for their service.
I have a Gmail account, so is Google+ a viable way to host images?
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Hotlinking images is not officially supported by Google+. However I'm not currently aware of any restrictions to doing it. You can go through the Picasa Web interface which does officially support hotlinking images. Some people suspect that Picasa Web will be retired soon though so that might not work very long.
Google allows public anonymous access to images if you use absolute address of the image. One simple way to find absolute path of an image (in Google Chrome) is to right click on the image and choose "Open Image in New Tab", then you can see the absolute path of the image in the address bar of newly opened tab. You can use this address in img tags. But remember, to be able to open an image in a new tab (I'm absolutely talking about this simple method) you should not use the "Zoom" feature of Google+ photos, otherwise you have to find the absolute path of image another way (by inspecting the element containing the image in the developer panel and finding the path)