When it comes to sharing content in the cloud, Dropbox is the default for many of us.
With 300 million individuals using Dropbox in their personal lives and more than 100,000 businesses having Dropbox for Business accounts, Dropbox is to “file sync and share” what Microsoft Word is to “document”.
Consider that when you enter the term “like Dropbox” into Google you get 405,000 results. Not just that, but last November we learned that there were more than 35 billion Microsoft Office documents stored in the cloud service.
But owning the lion’s share of the marketplace now doesn’t give CEO Drew Houston reason for rest. There are nearly 100 Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) vendors chomping at Dropbox’s heels, after all, each claiming to offer better compliance, security, governance … you name it.
And while Dropbox for Business keeps adding more and more functions geared specially toward the Enterprise, the engineers who look at Dropbox, as a whole, keep thinking about how they can elevate experiences and efficiencies so that users can get more and more done without leaving Dropbox.
Today Dropbox announced a new “Comments” feature, which allows you to have conversations right on the file when you preview a Dropbox file online.
The beauty of this? You can do it without ever leaving the preview pane. So if you’re collaborating on a product pitch, sales report or something similar, you’ll get streamlined communication, faster feedback and a freer workflow – with all of the information you need in one place. There’s no need to leave the screen, you and your collaborators can share content and conversation, all in one place.
The Comments feature enables you to:
- Bring anyone into the conversation with mentions. When you type @, followed by someone’s name or email address, they’ll get an email notification — even if they don’t use Dropbox — with a link to go right to the file. It’s a one-step process to both share a file and gather input about it.
- Instantly stay up to date (if you choose). When anyone comments on a file you’ve shared, you’ll receive an email notification. Or if you don’t need play-by-play updates on a certain file, just click "Unsubscribe from notifications."
- Manage the conversation. Everyone with access to a shared link can make comments. If you don’t want others to be able to weigh in, you can click "Turn off comments" in the Options menu. Of course this is only the case if it was your file from the start.
- Make changes on the spot with Microsoft Office files. If the comments are on a Microsoft Office file and you’re the owner, you don’t even need to leave the browser to make the changes. Just click the "Open" button to edit the file in Office Online or in the desktop app; either way, your changes will be saved back to Dropbox.
Is this a big deal? If it works as promised, it will make collaboration easier, eliminate hurdles where there don’t have to be any, and help us work more productively. If you’re interested in checking it out, go to Dropbox.com, click on any file, and add a comment on the right.