Is Dropbox the New Social Network on the Block?

By Brooke Neuman January 30, 2013

With a large number of social networking platforms popping up almost every week, competition is fierce. With social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Flickr, users are connected to friends and family 24/7, sharing every last detail of their lives on the Web. No stranger to the game, Dropbox, a file-sharing platform that lets users organize and share photos, documents, and videos easily, has unveiled a new way for users to share photos.  

Now with the new update, users can create “ad-hoc” photo albums that can be easily shared with friends through Facebook and Twitter. Primarily known for its seamless ability to organize files between different devices, Dropbox’s new feature strays away from its best attribute.

This time, the new photo-sharing feature will keep users’ photo collections separate from existing folders. This will create a more “abstract representation” of users’ data; more specifically, what Dropbox product manager Chris Beckmann describes as “a shift underway at Dropbox from thinking of things as files to thinking of things as users’ content.”

So why the sudden shift in conception? Dropbox’s new feature is an indication that the company is looking at user data in a more sophisticated, intimate way, much like Facebook and Twitter. Already acting as a private network for users, holding personal information such as photos and documents, Dropbox is slowly moving toward becoming a social networking/publishing platform.

Before, the process of sharing multiple photos through e-mail was tedious and frustrating. With its new feature, users can now choose one or more photos and share them in one album via Facebook, Twitter or e-mail. Even better, the photos do not have to live in the same Dropbox folder and can be updated anytime.

“We’re moving away from a filesystem-centric view of your content and to a more content-focused, content-centric view,” says Ramesh Balakrishnan, Dropbox engineering lead for photos. “If I move pictures to a different folder, reorganize my filesystem, rename folders – things that would break right now, when you share stuff out – it will continue to work with these views.”

With the BYOD phenomenon still surging and the explosion of tablets and smartphones, individuals today are typically using more than one mobile device. Dropbox makes it easy for users to treat their data the same across all devices, which proves beneficial for consumers.




Edited by Brooke Neuman

TechZone360 Copy Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Microsoft Research Project Allows for Inexpensive 3D Scanning from a Smartphone

By: Christopher Mohr    8/27/2015

It is now possible to perform 3D scanning from a smartphone, without additional hardware or an Internet connection, thanks to a new Microsoft Research…

Read More

Amazon's Scaled Back Consumer Device Efforts, Dash Button, and More

By: Paula Bernier    8/27/2015

Word is that Amazon is scaling way back on its consumer devices efforts, having let go of dozens of Lab126 engineers who worked on its Fire phone, acc…

Read More

The 4K War is Brewing, but Don't Expect a Crowned Winner

By: Special Guest    8/27/2015

The hype around 4K Ultra HD video is growing and we're seeing it gain traction in real ways. From the NFL Network and CBS using 4K cameras to capture …

Read More

Wallet Wars Part 2: Thanks to EMV, the Force is with Mobile Wallets

By: Special Guest    8/26/2015

In December 2015, when "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" hits movie theatres across the U.S., a very different type of force will 'awaken' the mobile wal…

Read More

Major Automakers Forge Alliance to Combat Cyberattackers

By: Joe Rizzo    8/25/2015

If you take a few minutes to think about what hackers go after, you'll realize that it is anything that has an Internet connection. Thanks to the Inte…

Read More