I think Dropbox is onto something folks. It may not have been the original intention, but this file sharing, cloud based (synced-copy) storage solution has become the de facto workplace sharing solution whether or not its condoned or not. A while back Dropbox added the “for business” functionality that many were looking for. Between upgraded storage, notation and better file sharing options, things have gotten even better. DB is always up as far as I’ve seen it and the system just works.
If everyone’s using it to share file and collaborate, it makes perfect sense that they’d incorporate more of a communications piece, a la a chat/messaging component. Enter their acquisition of the quiet workplace chat startup Zulip. Though still in private beta at the time of the acquisition, Zulip had already developed a suite of applications for Mac, Windows, Linux, iPhone and Android, which allowed users to share both public and private messages with their co-workers. Public messages would appear in “streams” related to the topic at hand, like “Design,” “Sales,” “Support,” and more, for example.
In Zulip’s case, its take on messaging was one which sees it focused on conversations over more basic “chats,” where topical streams include subject lines and threaded replies. Each section could also have several sub-sections, too. This feature, said Zulip, would help users be able to better find the conversations that mattered to them. Other features include robust and fast search, and several geeky additions that likely held developer appeal, like keyboard shortcuts, code syntax highlighting, an API, and off-the-shelf integrations for Trac, Nagios, Github, Jenkins, and more.
Deal terms are scarce with Dropbox declining to comment at this point. Let’s hope they bake that stuff in quick! It sounds like the perfect companion tool for any development and/or data organization!