Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dropbox Hits 100 Million Mark

Dropbox has doubled in size this year to 100 million accounts. That is a hefty 50% increase over what it was just a year back. What’s more, the number of accounts keep piling up at an enormous rate and the total number of files being saved everyday is one billion plus. It is estimated that the company’s revenue for this fiscal is close to $500 million, but, Dropbox’s co-founder Drew Houston is intriguingly not confirming it or denying it either. However, he accedes to the fact that the company’s conversion rates are moving at a steady pace. Notably, it may be remembered that Dropbox has raised $250 million from Index Ventures, Sequoia, Greylock, Benchmark and Accel collectively.

The rising level of users and their activity, according to Houston, will be the driving force in taking the company’s plans forward in the future. According to him, Dropbox will be more like a magic folder where users will benefit by keeping all their information like to-do lists, notes, user names, passwords or simply anything that they care about to make surfing the Web easier than ever before. There are other radical changes taking place at Dropbox too.
Even as the user base is burgeoning at an astonishing pace, Dropbox has announced easier ways for sharing photos, documents and media by creating links with families, colleagues and friends who are not registered with Dropbox. That means collaborators can use Dropbox without having to go through the sign up process, downloading anything or even opening folders and files separately. Another notable addition is doing away with the need to opening an email account and attaching files. The beta version of the addition has been undergoing tests for quite some time and is already fully operational.

Most new sign ups this summer have been coming from mobile users, according to the company, and are partly attributed to the agreement with Samsung and HTC wherein they are building the technology into the phone itself. It is expected that the partnership will eventually give Dropbox the much awaited push to improve upon the conversion ratio to a much higher level. For mobile users, it can mean features like automatic uploads with just a few strokes on the key.

However, not everything seems to be rosy for Dropbox, with news about the possibility of security breaches and the entry of established competitors like Apple with their iCloud and Google’s Google Drive. To counter the problem, Dropbox is expected to hire enough engineers to make it a 250-employee strong company. But it is still not known how much of the increase will be assigned to tackle security related issues. Surprising, the company is unfazed by the competitors trying to eat into each other’s business. In fact, it is believed that it is good for the company with the competitors’ engineers remaining busy on issues that don’t directly attack their future plans.

Even as the battle for supremacy over cloud storage rages, Dropbox has come out with a new interface which is a total revamp of the previous one. The most commendable are the action-bar, a light-box photo viewer, better search and many more.

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