When it comes to decide where and how to host your files on the web you ask yourself two main questions: Are you ready to pay for it? What is the best service for a the type of file you need. File hosting/sharing is a totally crowded space with both vertical solutions (think Flickr or PhotoBucket for pictures, Scribd or SlideShare for documents, YouTube for videos) and horizontal solutions (RapidShare, MediaFire, YouSendit, Megaupload,…). Most of those services stop being free when you need extra space or extra bandwith. Honestly it is really hard to find out your way in the jungle. But if you are a heavy user or are only interested in hosting and controling sharing options you might want to consider a one-Stop shop like DivShare that has been here a for few months. They are starting to release today a series of innovations that will make the service more unique and attractive.
The whole service is now providing a one-stop solution that will save users the download process, whatever the format of the file is. They offer free unlimited hosting and convert to flash nearly every file type (audio, video, office documents,..) instantly upon uploading with embedding capabilities. This is different from a company like Wixi which is built around a social network and where files are indexed and shared. They have built a universal flash player that makes the access and viewing easy and save you the download process (here is an example).
They are also rolling out a new iPhone and Facebook application as well as an API as of next week. With the iPhone app you’ll be able to view and email easily all your documents. The Facebook application “Projects by DivShare” enables students to create a special wall to add and view documents within Facebook.
They will rollout on Tuesday an API that enables any site including social networks to outsource for their hosting capabilities for any kind of file. Divshare has a premium option that enables you to rebrand totally your player (see below an example). I am not sure what is the level of SLA guaranteed by DivShare but this is a ground explored already by Amazon with S3 and EC2. The difference being that DivShare will be free and will provide viewing capabilities. If you want to rebrand the appearance then you will have to pay and become a DivShare Direct customer.
You can argue that some of those features can be found here and there. And their new player looks a lot like the one Docstoc is offering (for office documents only). But the blend of features and the free unlimited hosting makes it a good option. Will they be able to keep that promise as the service grows specially with a model based on advertising only? Time will tell and the challenge will not be simple.
DivShare has been my personal favourite for a long time and those improvements will help me stick to my judgement. If you guys are blogger they have a great plug-in for file uploading and hosting too. They officially launched in December 06 have over three million monthly visitors worldwide, and 150,000 registered users. The company based in Cupertino, California, has only four employees and is self-funded but is planning to take outside funding.
CenterNetworks has an interview of the co-founder David Altschul back in February