Summary: Now even Facebook is jumping into the cloud storage game thanks to Dropbox, and it could present an interesting challenge in the enterprise space.
By Rachel King for Between the Lines | September 2012 - zdnet.com
The personal cloud storage market is getting more crowded by the week, and even Facebook is getting in on the action...sort of.
Facebook is teaming up with Dropbox on a new integration that allows Facebook users to share content stored in their Dropbox accounts directly with contacts in Facebook Groups.
Users of both platforms can share documents, photos and videos, which will be displayed on the group's wall. Like any other Facebook post, users can comment and like the files shared. Furthermore, users will be able to see and access these posts on either the desktop or mobile versions of Facebook.
All of that is fairly straightforward. It's basically another example of Facebook partnering with a major and currently popular hub for online media along the lines of the Open Graph platform.
But the pairing of the social elements of Facebook and the cloud storage capabilities of Dropbox feels very reminiscent of a pattern that has emerged lately.
In one way or another, companies with one strength or the other have either teamed up (or usually just acquired) a smaller company to bring these two major trends together.
Look at Microsoft (owner of SkyDrive) and Yammer, Oracle and Collective Intellect, and Salesforce.com (which just unveiled its own socially-enhanced cloud storage option, Chatterbox) with Buddy Media and Radian6. You can also throw Google into the mix thanks to its vast web of products that can be integrated in-house, such as Google Drive and Google Plus.
Dropbox does have its own business-focused pricing scheme, but it doesn't really offer much in terms of a social element. Facebook really opens the door to a lot of potential in this regard.
This isn't to say that Facebook is even interested in getting involved with the cloud storage business at all -- for either consumers or enterprise customers. But who knows? Perhaps Dropbox could be the next big Facebook acquisition, à la Instagram.