March 3, 2016 9:16am
Dropbox is considering adding a chat component to its popular fire-sharing platform, according to The Information.
Citing two unnamed sources who were able to see the functionality in action, the website says Dropbox has been working on adding chat to its platform for the past two years, though it’s only in recent months — with collaboration apps like Slack gaining tremendous popularity — that Dropbox has accelerated work on the feature. In its current iteration, Dropbox sees the chat functionality it’s building out acting as a kind of “workplace” where teams can collaborate on files stored within the main app.
With more than 400-million active users attached to its core app, it makes sense for Dropbox to add this type of functionality to its platform.
On the other hand, the company, once a Silicon Valley darling, has lost much of the early momentum it gained in the early part of the decade.
Mailbox, the once innovative email client Dropbox acquired in 2013 for $100-million, shut down just last week, while Carousel, the company’s dedicated photo management app, is scheduled to wind down later this month on March 31. In the blog post where they announced their plan to shutdown the two apps, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston and CTO Arash Ferdowsi repeatedly used the word “focus” to justify their actions.
For a company that seemingly wants to focus on its core product, adding chat to its platform seems like a me too response to recent success like like Slack. However, it should be noted in closing The Information reports Dropbox doesn’t currently see its chat functionality competing with the likes of Slack and Yammer.