A Paradigm Shift in Cloud Storage

- November 29, 2012

Very recently, without many people realizing it, there’s been a major shift in the way that software companies treat cloud storage services like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive etc. Online storage is starting to become a primary hard drive for users rather than a secondary. We’ve been seeing it in the rapid pace of our growth as well as through moves by others in the space, such as the Dropbox chooser and Gmail adding attachments from Google.

Originally, people only stored files online as backups. Then Box and later Dropbox opened up the collaboration use case, storing files online so they could be shared between two people. Now, people on an appreciable scale are starting to use the files they have in online storage as the primary version, particularly with photos. In more and more cases, the content that people want to work with is not sitting on their local hard drive, it’s online, synced up there by their mobile device or shared from a friend.

This is why we created Filepicker.io, to help developers deal with this migration of the primary content to the cloud, and with products like the Dropbox chooser and Gmail-Google Drive integration surfacing, it’s clear that the industry is moving forward, that consumers will soon expect their applications to work with directly cloud storage. Of course we believe that applications should integrate with all the cloud storage services not just one, but there are other interests at stake and so getting all applications to work with all sources of content will take time. For now, we’ll keep encouraging applications like Cloudy that add in multi-platform support.

Users are starting to treat online storage as primary sources, and as the applications they use start working with that content directly, it’s a major step forward in the notion of the web as a platform. As we at Filepicker.io and elsewhere push this notion of interoperability forward, we’ll see a web where from any device, a user can log in to their accounts, view, store, edit, and share their content, all online, without ever needing to download or upload.

We started this company with the belief that as more content went online, there needed to be a better way for applications to work with this online data. And this change is happening now, with some customers now having over 70% of uploads starting from the cloud, up from 20% several months ago. To us, the shift towards people using online storage as their primary drive is very exciting, and we’re thrilled to have played a role in pushing it forward. The signs of this paradigm shift are just starting to show, and it’s only the beginning.

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