Cloud storage company DropBox announced on March 15, 2013 its acquisition of the popular email management app Mailbox. The move appears to reflect DropBox’s determination to add other services to its cloud storage offerings.
Mailbox’s Success Story
Mailbox is a bit of a cause célèbre in the app world. A product of newly-formed company Orchestra, the app delivers Gmail messages to the iPhone and iPad Touch. Users employ a range of swiping gestures to organize email, archive messages and move email to different folders. The app also allows users to “delay” messages, removing them from the inbox for a predetermined period of time.
Since its launch in February, Mailbox has developed an enormous following, in part because of long waiting lists for the app. In slightly over a month, the company expanded its service capacity to 2,000 times its launch capacity, and now delivers over 60 million emails a day.
Mailbox offers potential email solutions to everyone from individuals to, say, a Lancaster PA web design company. Orchestra was, however, experiencing difficulty keeping up with user demand. Under DropBox’s umbrella, the 14-person team will have access to more resources.
DropBox Expanding Beyond Storage
DropBox’s primary source of income is storage space subscriptions, a profitable enough venture investors value the company at approximately $4 billion. Many users, however, opt for the free storage space package. At 2 GB, with 500 MB per referral to a maximum of 18 GB, DropBox’s free storage is more than sufficient for many people’s needs.
DropBox needs to find ways to monetize their user base, estimated at 100 million, while retaining current users and attracting new ones. To facilitate this, the company seems poised to add new features to its storage offerings.
In 2012, DropBox added features that make it easier to upload and organize images, including a photo album feature. Previous to purchasing Mailbox, the company acquired cloud music storage app Audiogalaxy, as well as photo app Snapjoy. Presumably, DropBox plans to add for-fee features to lure free users into subscribing.
For those of you wondering how the acquisition will affect Mailbox, DropBox seems to understand that you don’t mess with success. The email management app will remain a standalone feature.
However, the possibility of storing emails on DropBox and sharing cloud-based files through email probably means Mailbox users will see some added features in the near future, linking their DropBox and Mailbox accounts for easier sharing.
It’s a good partnership, which brings to mind that old eighties song by the Pet Shop Boys. DropBox has the brawn – a steadily increasing system of cloud storage. Mailbox has the brain – an app that sparked a user gold rush. Presumably, the result will be to make lots of money.
Adrienne is a tech-savvy blogger who loves reading up on the latest and greatest in the technology sphere. To see what she’s been up to recently, follow her on Twitter: @adrienneerin.