Dropbox to stop offering Public folders for new accounts

If you don't have a Dropbox account yet but have been thinking about signing up, you might want to hurry up and get an account now. According to an email sent to developers and posted by the German language site Mobiflip.de, Dropbox will no longer offer Public folders for its cloud-based service for new accounts after July 31st.

According to the email, people who already have accounts on Dropbox will continue to be able to use Public folders to share files with others. The email was sent out to apps developers in order to give them a heads-up in case their apps depended on Public folder support.

In April, Dropbox started offering a new feature, "Get Link", which allowed its users to send their friends a simple web link to show off their pictures, videos and documents. However, the Get Link feature doesn't offer up a direct link to a Dropbox folder like the Public folder feature does. New Dropbox users after July 31st who want to embed a photo on their Dropbox drive on a website may find that harder than before.

So far, Dropbox has not mentioned this change on its official blog site, nor on its Facebook or Twitter pages.

Via: The Verge
Source: Mobiflip.de

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29 Comments

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Good to see a company dropping legacy support for something that has been superseded instead of continuing to support and becoming bloated.

Any file can be shared without a need for a public folder.

They should have accepted Steve Jobs' offer two years ago and joined Apple's ranks. It was a good timing because that's when the competition started.

Everybody is misinterpreting this. You can STILL share files - you can still right click on any file and click "Get Link". The difference is, you do not need to put that file in the Public folder. This is more secure and doesn't require you to copy/paste it to the Public folder (thus creating duplicates).

If you wanted to share a file with someone before, it had a very generic address - something like dropbox.com/your name/your file - basically, anybody could access your file if they knew just the file name. The shareable link is a random hashtag which you can regenerate/remove at any time.

Same feature, but better way of doing it...

(Oh, you can also share an entire FOLDER if you want, instead of giving out multiple 'public' links...)

does skydrive offer live syncing and automatic backup of pics I take with my phone's camera...?? I need that to backup the pics in case the SD card dies...

remixedcat said,
does skydrive offer live syncing and automatic backup of pics I take with my phone's camera...?? I need that to backup the pics in case the SD card dies...

Wp7 does yes

I've already begun migrating my files from Dropbox to SkyDrive. I find SkyDrive a FAR MORE appealing cloud solution than Dropbox, especially because of storage space a better terms of service. Remember a few months ago the uproar DB cause when they announced they "owned" anything you uploaded, regardless if you deleted it?

Now with the SkyDrive PC / Mac / iOS / Android apps, I find it the perfect solution. Shame, I liked the old Dropbox

Maybe they did this for fear of future legal issue / concerns.

If government/media companies get there way, they will make file hosting companies responsible for user infringement. There trying to overturn the protections in the DMCA that shield user uploaded content making the companies liable for infringement, if they don't comply with take down notices in a timely fashion.

I've pretty much completely stopped using Dropbox actively in favor of Skydrive, which is ironic considering how much I usually avoid MS anything, but it's been a pleasant surprise with ease of use and the extra space just tips the scales for my needs. I like to have everything in one place if possible.

I still use Dropbox for all my phone stuff like auto backups of this or that but have no plans whatsoever to expand my use and this just helps cement that view in that in reminds me they're offering less, when maybe they should be offering more... l understand their model, and if it works, kudos, it's a tough market with fickle customers.

But what is the use of the Public folder? if you can share a file using links? I honestly think it is easier to share a file from a structure you already have, rathert then copying it to the public folder (and reducing you DB free space) or worse, moving it to the public folder and then forgetting you put it there.

How many of you actually need to share FOLDER on dropbox, really now.

LauRoman said,
But what is the use of the Public folder? if you can share a file using links? I honestly think it is easier to share a file from a structure you already have, rathert then copying it to the public folder (and reducing you DB free space) or worse, moving it to the public folder and then forgetting you put it there.

How many of you actually need to share FOLDER on dropbox, really now.

I don't how it works, but if i have to share 50 files i have to send 50 links?

fenderMarky said,

I don't how it works, but if i have to share 50 files i have to send 50 links?

If you have to share 50 files, maybe consider putting them in an archive, so you only need one?

fenderMarky said,

I don't how it works, but if i have to share 50 files i have to send 50 links?

You can create a link to a folder.

... I just checked again after what LauRoman said. I didn't realize you could share a link to a file elsewhere. That works just fine for what I'd ever need it for. Heh.

I tried both services and neither offers the seamless public access that Dropbox's public folders does. If you send someone a link to a Skydrive file, they get a Skydrive page and have to click a second time to download the file. Google Drive is hit-and-miss depending on the file type --- some will download when you click them, but others will offer a preview with the option to download.

Links to files in the Dropbox public folder are simple --- they just link directly to the file. You don't have to look at any Dropbox UI to download the file so you can link directly to large files from other sites. You can also use it to embed images and media in other pages.

Point being --- Dropbox is taking some functionality away, but you can't really replace it with SkyDrive or Google anyway.

Jose_49 said,
I don't know what they are smoking after SkyDrive and Google release their own storage competition.

Just another reason to not use dropbox. Even Sugarsync allows file sharing, along with many others.

jd100 said,

Just another reason to not use dropbox. Even Sugarsync allows file sharing, along with many others.

No, you have it entirely wrong. The "PUBLIC" folder is a legacy option. You used to have to put anything you wanted a link to into that folder. Now, what you can do is right click on ANY file and click "Get Shareable Link". It will generate some random address for you and you can ALWAYS go back and remove that shareable link or change it.

It's easier, more secure, and doesn't create the demand for making duplicate files on your dropbox when you want to share something.