The decision is a major reversal for the cloud storage giant.
If you use Dropbox’s popular mobile email app, Mailbox, or it photo organizer, Carousel, it’s time to consider alternatives. Both products will be discontinued early next year.
“Over the past few months, we’ve increased our team’s focus on collaboration and simplifying the way people work together,” the company said in a blog post. “In light of that, we’ve made the difficult decision to shut down Carousel and Mailbox.”
The shutdown for Mailbox will be on Feb. 26. Carousel gets another month to live—its last day of service will be March 31.
Dropbox decided to kill the products amid pressure to justify a sky-high $10 billion valuation. The company is refocusing on business customers, which it is betting are more likely than consumers to pay for services that help with collaborating on documents, presentations, and spreadsheets.
It’s been two years since Dropbox bought Mailbox, a powerful email organizer that let users defer messages in their in-boxes by scheduling them to disappear from view until a later time. Although the transaction price wasn’t disclosed, the deal value was reported to be at least $50 million. The mobile version was one of the first to introduce the concept of “autoswipe,” a one-touch shortcut for deleting or archiving incoming mail.
However, that feature is now copied by many other widely used mobile email apps, including the one for Microsoft Outlook. There hasn’t been much innovation under the Dropbox reign. In the announcement about Mailbox’s demise, Dropbox suggested that users evaluate Outlook and the Inbox by Gmail app from Google.
Last year, Dropbox introduced Carousel as a visual timeline for photos users stored in their accounts. People could use it to view their photos in galleries and albums, but its role was never entirely clear. Was it supposed to become a separate service? Serve as the foundation for new visual applications? Dropbox will offer suggestions for how to export shared albums in early 2016, noting that content will “remain safe” whether or not someone chooses to migrate to another service.
Dropbox, last valued at $10 billion, has been recasting itself as a software company focused on collaboration services. The strategy is to win favor with businesses as paid customers. Dropbox says it has 400 million users, but only around 150,000 give it any money. By comparison, archrival Box BOX has approximately 54,000 customers as of its latest quarter.
How Dropbox aims to rise above its reputation as a “consumer” cloud file-sharing service: