Dropbox today announced a new milestone: half a billion users. The service hit 100 million users in November 2012, 200 million in November 2013, 300 million in May 2014, and 400 million in June 2015.
In other words, Dropbox’s growth was accelerating in 2014, slowed down in 2015, and is now back on the rise. Jumping between 200 million and 300 million took six months, moving between 300 million and 400 million took 13 months, and the last 100 million was added in nine months.
These most recent 100 million users have come from all over the world, with Dropbox specifically calling out Brazilians, Indians, Brits, Germans, and Americans at the top of the list of new signups. The company further adds that this is the case for consumers as well as businesses: While Dropbox is U.S.-based, its users are part of “a truly global community.” More specifically, 75 percent of Dropbox users are outside the U.S.
Dropbox also shared that its users have created 3.3 billion connections between each other, a 51 percent jump over the last year. Furthermore, 44 percent of new accounts were opened as a result of existing users introducing their friends, family, and coworkers to Dropbox.
When it hit the 400 million user milestone, Dropbox touted that there were 50 countries around the world in which at least 1 million individuals have Dropbox accounts and that its users were syncing 1.2 billion files every day, creating over 100,000 new shared folders and links every hour, making 4,000 edits every second, and accessing the service at over 8 million businesses around the world. The company didn’t update these figures today, though we did learn in November that the company has 150,000 paying business customers.
It’s definitely impressive that Dropbox’s growth has sped up again. By launching in September 2008, Dropbox had a solid head start over many of today’s popular alternatives, but competition today is very fierce.
Services like Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive are tightly integrated with services across their respective properties. They are also owned by companies with significantly deeper pockets.
Dropbox’s strategy has been to partner with Microsoft and integrate each other’s services across mobile and the Web. The company has even experimented with building its tools directly into Gmail for Chrome and Microsoft Office for Windows and Mac, no partnerships required.
People clearly love Dropbox. But that’s not enough.
While the company is growing, its ventures outside of file sharing have failed. Its $10 billion valuation has been called into question. Competition continues to heat up. The question Dropbox is clearly trying to answer is: Can we survive as just a file-sharing company?