Dropbox recently decided to ditch its popular e-mail client Mailbox, which the company had bought a couple of years ago for $100 million. The company announced that it would also shut down its photo gallery Carousel, but photos won’t be removed.
Carousel users will be able to retrieve their photos in their Dropbox, while some of Carousel’s features would be integrated into Dropbox app in an attempt to simplify access to images stored there.
Yet, Mailbox users won’t be so lucky. As of Feb. 26, they will be left out in the rain and forced to find another e-mail app on their taste. CEO Drew Houston made the announcement Monday in a blog post.
Housten explained that the move echoes a recent shift in the company’s policy, which is now more concerned about boosting productivity than developing consumer-oriented apps.
Dropbox is now worth $10 billion and has $1.1 billion in funding, but the competition is intense.
One of its rivals, Box, is oriented toward corporate users, and so are Microsoft and Google. So, in order to survive, Dropbox needs to diversify its offers and try and convince shareholders that the company can and will continue to grow.
Some critics argued that Mailbox could fit into that strategy, but the company said it would better redirect its resources to other projects including Google Docs-like service called Paper, which may feature some functions of the soon-defunct Mailbox.
Mailbox team wrote in a recent post that they noticed productivity can be enhanced by streamlining workflows that generate so many e-mails at workplace. The idea is a 180-degree shift from the company’s previous plan to revolutionize email services via its Mailbox.
Two years ago, Dropbox acquired the e-mail app for $100 million from its maker, Orchestra, long before Dropbox had publicly released its app for iOS. Mailbox was designed by a team that had gained considerable experience at Apple and other tech firms.
Mailbox has a unique method of organizing inbox messages on the go. For instance, there is a function that allows you to ‘snooze’ an e-mail message and make it pop up at a later date with a simple swipe. If you swiped right the message could have been either archived or erased.
The versatility paired with a clever marketing strategy made hundreds of thousands of wannabe users to queue in the beta-test line.
Dropbox denied telling whether Carousel and Mailbox staffers would be laid off or integrated into other projects such as Zulip and Hackpad.
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