Earlier today Facebook announced that it would now offer full integration with the personal file storage company Dropbox. Dropbox, which was first introduced in 2008 has slowly grown as a personal storage and cloud share service and will now allow files to be shared within Facebook Groups. For many casual computer users this will be their first opportunity to access and use cloud storage to save and distribute their files.

At first glance the partnership between the two companies may seem unlikely but this shows an effort on Facebook’s part to further dominate the social center of the internet. As media such as photos and video become increasingly easy to create the need and desire to share them will grow as well, which puts Facebook in the perfect place to capitalize on the new market.

With the competition between Facebook and Google it’s no surprise that there are currently no plans to integrate with Google Drive or other cloud share services. Google Drive, which launched earlier this year was introduced largely as Google’s answer to Dropbox and integrates with all of applications in the Google Apps suite. Google+, which already offered cloud storage capabilities, is likely to take an even greater hit in popularity now that Facebook has closed the gap between their unique functionality.

Cloud storage is a great asset for users but given how many people use Facebook the company is going to have to be careful in how they implement security and restrictions on the service. While Dropbox is in good standing when it comes to user protection and security Facebook has a shakier history. Given the potential for users to upload larger personal files in greater quantities the risk to each user will increase; not to mention the potential for copyright infringement and other legalities. Since Facebook is new to cloud storage it’s hard to say how things will play out but it will be interesting to see what happens once users get a hold of the new tools at their disposal.

– Richard Keene
IT Computer Support of New York
Design and Optimization Department