Dropbox is streamlining its operations by shutting down email client Mailbox and photo management app Carousel, the company announced today.
The two apps once showed how Dropbox may have expanded beyond its core file sharing and cloud storage business, but lack of development on both projects shows how the company is struggling to meet its $10 billion valuation.
“The Carousel and Mailbox teams have built products that are loved by many people and their work will continue to have an impact,” CEO Drew Houston and CTO Arash Ferdowsi said in a blog post. “We’ll be taking key features from Carousel back to the place where your photos live—in the Dropbox app. We’ll also be using what we’ve learned from Mailbox to build new ways to communicate and collaborate on Dropbox.”
Dropbox bought Mailbox in 2013 while the app still had a substantial waitlist. The app got a lot of hype due to its ability to let users remove an email from their inbox until a later date. An Android app was quickly added, and a beta Mac app was also introduced. But updates languished as competitors introduced similar functionality.
Google’s Inbox has nearly the same features, while Apple’s built-in Mail app and Microsoft’s Outlook app have many of the same gestures. Meanwhile, Dropbox never introduced a full desktop experience and updates slowed down significantly.
Carousel was introduced to easily manage photos online. The app not only uploaded photos to a special Dropbox folder, but also presented them in a nice way and made it easy to scroll to past photos.
Again, the competition was better than Dropbox when it came to photo storage. Apple’s built-in photo backup solution not only kept photos synced across all devices, but also kept edits and was more closely integrated with users’ photo libraries. Google Photos also featured stronger integration with Android devices and used Google’s machine learning abilities to make photos more searchable.
Dropbox is instead focusing on collaboration in the workplace, with an eye on paying subscribers instead of the ones who still use the limited, free storage tier. That means a focus on enterprise users, who can use Dropbox’s cross-platform syncing capability for team projects.
Dropbox is shutting down Mailbox on Feb. 26, 2016, while Carousel will run until March 31, 2016, allowing users a little more time to move photos out of the app before it closes.