With the new ‘comments’ feature released in the latest Dropbox updates at the end of April (on the 28th), Dropbox has begun to transition social media like features for its users. Through this new feature, users can post comments to the files they share or access in a manner very similar to the way we can comment on news or blog articles online. This step could potentially prove to be a huge leap forward for professional team work in any company across almost any field of work. By using Dropbox comments on the centralized file sharing service, users can also give each other feedback and implement changes much faster than the traditional communication means (such as email or scheduled meetings).
The potential to use Dropbox as a team work and management tool already existed, especially considering the Dropbox for Business service (which already has several collaborative tools such as the organizational activity log, layered access permissions and so on). This type of service is particularly useful for companies who hire remote work teams and have trouble coordinating the schedules properly. However, the good news here about the Dropbox comments feature revolves around the fact that it will be available to regular Dropbox users along with the commercial users. Everyone should benefit from it and Dropbox pricing won’t play a role in users adopting the feature.
How Does Dropbox Comments Feature Work?
Basically, each user with access to a file will be able to post and view comments to it in the online browsing panel, without needing to actually open the file. All of the other users with access to that file will then be able to see the recently posted comment and respond or simply adjust their work to it. If you should choose so, Dropbox can also send you email notifications as soon as a new comment is posted on a file or folder you’re particularly interested in. Using this new ‘social file sharing‘ you should always be up to speed with everything.
Moreover, you will also be able to invite non users to use Dropbox comments on certain files, in an effort to unite the working team from across all virtual platforms in the common effort. You can also disable comments completely should you prefer it, at least on certain files, just as you would on any WordPress-based articles or posts. There will also be mentions to other members of the team in the comments, in a Twitter style (with an ‘@’ right before the team member’s name). When you are mentioned in a comment in this manner, you will also receive an email notification about it.
The main reasons behind this recent development from Dropbox is obviously expanding their range of services in order to keep up with the flow of new perks coming from the competition. In an age where giants such as Amazon and Microsoft are offering more and more storage space and collaboration tools for free, Dropbox is fighting to enhance its tools for collaboration work. The new Dropbox comments feature is part of that longer-term strategy: Dropbox simply can’t remain a simple virtual storage unit and remain relevant in this shifting scene.
The fact that Dropbox recently acquired CloudOn, a company specializing in mobile document editing, is just as significant. The next step of the company is reportedly to begin testing its own text editing panel so it can bring forth even more features soon. Last, but not least, it should be mentioned that Dropbox also put in a lot of effort to ensure that more and more platforms and services are compatible with its own; the fact that Asana users, for example, are able to link directly to Dropbox files, brings about just the type of integration needed to make Dropbox almost indispensable. In this rate of development of its range of tools and service, Dropbox is out to prove it will remain relevant for a long time to come. It will be interesting to to see how competitors such as Google Drive respond to this new development.