Dropbox’s Chris Varenhorst writes in a blog post announcing the integration:
“Today we’re psyched to announce that you can share stuff from Dropbox right inside Facebook Groups! Now you can share notes with your study group, add the latest game schedule to your basketball team’s group, or post a birthday video to your family’s group at lightning speed from wherever you are — just as long as you have them saved in Dropbox.
Just like other posts to Facebook Groups, people can like or comment on anything you share from within the group. And if you make any edits to a file you’ve shared, the group will get an update automatically!”
Facebook tells us that this does not replace the current ability to upload files from your computer to Groups. This just opens up the ability for people to upload files that they already have stored in the cloud to Groups — as long as they are stored in Dropbox.
It’s pretty straightforward news, but strategically, it’s an interesting move on several levels. Facebook launched its own Groups file-sharing feature a few months ago, and at the time my colleague (and TechCrunch’s resident Facebook expert) Josh Constine speculated that in time it “could be good enough to limit the long-term growth potential of cloud storage/file sharing services like Dropbox.” It now looks like Facebook has ultimately decided not to tackle such a huge challenge as powering an entire cloud file-sharing platform on its own.
It’s also worth mentioning that Dropbox’s current VP of engineering is Aditya Agarwal, the tech executive who once served as a director of engineering at Facebook. He may have been instrumental in brokering this deal and leading the integration of Dropbox’s and Facebook’s technologies.
It’s a smart move for Facebook to stay totally focused on its core mission of being the social infrastructure of the web. It’s also a big coup for Dropbox, which will now have lucrative exposure to Facebook’s huge user base. It’s my understanding at the moment that there are no plans for Facebook to integrate to other cloud storage services — so this serves as a big testament to how much Facebook is trusting Dropbox’s technology.