Dropbox Adds Loom, Hackpad to Its Growing 'Family of Apps'

Dropbox recently announced a new chapter for the company that includes nurturing a family of apps. Loom and Hackpad are its newest members.

Dropbox's latest efforts to expand beyond the backup and storage world include the acquisitions of Loom, a photo-sharing company, and Hackpad, a document-sharing startup.

Dropbox last week introduced Carousel, an application that lets users browse and share images stored in their cloud-based account, and with it announced it had entered "Chapter 2."

"We're moving from one app called Dropbox to this whole family of apps," Dropbox CEO Drew Houston said at a San Francisco press event. "We are building a home for people on the Internet."

Loom, announcing the deal to users April 17, said that solving the challenge of what to do with all the photos filling people's computers, old phones and external hard drives has been something a lot of folks have been working on for some time, and with good progress.

"We look forward to this transition as the next step in creating a home for all of your photos and videos, seamlessly organized, while still keeping them at your fingertips," the company said in a blog post. "With Carousel, Dropbox has created a gallery for your life's memories. It's a single home for all your photos and videos, automatically organized and always with you."

Loom added that it's no longer enrolling new users, and existing Loom customers will be able to use its service until May 16. "You can export your data directly to Dropbox with no interruption in service," it continued, adding that users who make the switch to Carousel will receive the "same amount of free space that you had on Loom on Dropbox, forever." Paid users will receive the same quota on Carousel for a year, and those who don't want to make the switch can request a copy of their libraries, which they'll receive inside a zip file.

"We have worked hard on our product and feel that our vision aligns perfectly with Dropbox's vision for Carousel," the company added. It also went on to say that after spending "serious time" investigating whether the move was right for Loom, it decided that Dropbox would solve many scaling and infrastructure issues, freeing up Loom to "focus entirely on building great features with a fantastic user experience."

Hackpad, in a Frequently Asked Questions on its acquisition, also cited the benefits of joining a company with Dropbox's heft.

"With over 270 million users and the resources of a large company, joining forces gives us the ability to empower many more people with next-generation collaboration and communication tools," wrote Hackpad founder Igor Kofman.

Unlike Loom, Hackpad plans to continue to be available and "supported in its current capacity for new and existing users."

On April 9, Dropbox also introduced a business-geared app called Project Harmony that helps enterprise users quickly, and in real time, see what changes have been made to documents. It will soon also make Mailbox, an email application it acquired last year, available for Android and Windows Phone devices.

"In the beginning we were this magic folder that was a container for everything," Houston said at the press conference. "It wasn't long before we had all these ideas about how to make your stuff more useful. That is really the heart of the next chapter."