Popular online storage app, Dropbox, has announced a new link sharing system and Web viewer that allow anyone to view Dropbox content without even having an account.


Dropbox link sharing and Web viewer now available to all users.

Dropbox is a free service to anyone who signs up, but the new features will let Dropbox account holders link out their images, documents and videos to people who either don't want or don't need an account themselves. The new features will make it easy to share content across all devices, and the fact Dropbox is available in so many places could even lead to wider adoption. In other words, if someone shares a Dropbox link with someone, the recipient might like the system so much they sign up for their own account.

Dropbox Linking 101

There's a new get link button inside Dropbox that creates a unique URL for any file or folder to be shared. The button is on the lower left side for mobile users. From the Dropbox website, click the link icon next to any folder, and the URL created can be shared right away.

This same action will open the folder, and show all the files inside in their ready-to-share linkable form. From here, clicking on the files will create a link, and once shared, the files can even be downloaded right from inside the link. This will be especially useful for companies who use Dropbox accounts because their content is spread out across multiple channels. Now, that content can be shared with customers who don't use Dropbox at all. 

Learning Opportunities

New Web Viewer

In beta since 2011, the Web viewer is available now to all Dropbox users. Just like with links, clicking on the get link button for images or videos inside Dropbox will create a unique URL for sharing. Once shared, viewers will see the files displayed in a new full-browser viewer without having to download, extract or open anything else.

At the bottom right of the viewer is a download button that will enable people to have complete access to those shared files.

Both of these new capabilities demonstrate Dropbox's desire to be more than a simple file storage solution. These updates may help it as it fights against competitors like Windows SkyDrive and Google's soon to be released cloud storage solution. The question is, is it enough to take on the bigger vendor names in the space?