This week, WordPress.com parent Automattic furthered its goal of world domination — that is, powering most of the planet’s websites — with the purchase of file-sharing startup Cloudup.
Cloudup, whose beta had only come out in June, is designed to make file sharing as simple as humans can imagine. Drop a file into the browser, and a link is generated for sharing via email, social networks or whatever. Multiple files are collected and distributed as streams, revealing the component files instead of hiding them in folders.
Goodbye WordPress Media Library, Uploader
Thumbnails are automatically generated for uploaded files, quite a few file formats are supported, and the first 1000 uploads are free. Conversion and streaming technology supports fast viewing on a wide range of platforms, and the app is designed to think a few steps ahead, such as automatically uploading screenshots.
The Cloudup team will immediately get to work replacing WordPress’ media library, uploader and some of its editing tools with its own. Cloudup’s tools allow collaboration on the same document at the same time, even if part of the document is being uploaded (such as a photo), as well as the ability to begin viewing a file before it’s actually done uploading, for those in a particular rush.
Cloudup, which now has about 10,000 active users, is a spinoff from LearnBoost, an educational technology company started in 2010 that focuses on management software for classrooms and schools. LearnBoost now becomes part of Automattic as well, and Cloudup will be continue to be available as a separate service. Automattic said that, at the moment, it is not planning to generate revenue streams from Cloudup anytime soon.
Driving Most of the World's Websites
The acquisition may not be directly addressed at increasing WordPress.com’s presence in the business world, but it does add yet another efficient tool to the growth of WordPress-as-platform.
Earlier this month, Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg said that he intended for WordPress to be the platform behind most of the world’s websites — an ambitious goal, but he already has about 20 percent, and his company’s market share is growing by about two or three percent a year.
Tools that can help fast and collaborative site building, like Cloudup, could assist Automattic in getting there. So will other tools that Automattic has been busy buying, like domain searching/registration service Lean Domain Search in July, iOS WordPress client Poster in June, and, in January, data syncing platform and notetaking app Simperium, among other recent acquisitions.
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