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Dropbox dropping 'Public' folder
12 points by mparlane on Dec 15, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 6 comments
Hi _______,

We’re always looking to improve the Dropbox sharing experience. The Public folder was the first sharing method we introduced, and since then, we’ve built even better ways for you to share securely and work together with your team.

As a result, we’ll soon be ending support for the Public folder. Dropbox Basic users will be able to use the Public folder until March 15, 2017. After that date the files in your Public folder will become private, and links to these files will be deactivated. Your files will remain safe in Dropbox.

If you’d like to keep sharing files in your Public folder, you can create new shared links. Just make sure to send the new URLs to your collaborators.

In addition to shared links, we have a number of sharing options designed to make collaboration easier and give you more control. To learn more, visit our Help Center.

The Dropbox team

I wrote an open letter to Dropbox in the form of a Feature Request on their website, asking they change their minds. Overnight it rocketed up to #6 on the list of top-requested items, and my inbox was inundated with comments from other irate users. Unfortunately Dropbox censored the request from their site after it hit the front page on Slashdot.


Here's a snapshot of the original letter and a sampling of comments: https://pste.eu/p/Gyvk.html

Despite the fuss, I did keep my most critical links pointed to less ephemeral locations. For me, it's just an inconvenience. But after hearing all this feedback, I have a lot of empathy for folks who didn't know better and are really invested in Public folder links.

If the looming retirement of Public folders will cause you grief, I suggest making some noise about it on social media! Who knows, you might just get lucky and catch the eye of a decision maker at the company. I'm sure if they were motivated, they could come up with a migration solution for the legacy URL's.

This was a very convenient way to share files because links were direct. Some people even used the public folder to host small static sites.

Interestingly their help site lists the change as March 15, 2016 instead of 2017, but perhaps they got all the dates wrong there [1]. At least I got the same email.

[1]: https://www.dropbox.com/help/16

Woke up, read the e-mail, literally opened HN in order to make the fuss.

I'm really sad about this. They're removing one of their best features - and for me, one of the most useful.

Does this mean that you can only share files with people who have Dropbox accounts? Typically, I would just give out a link to something in my public folder. If so, this changes a lot.

Worst company ever! All my links are going to die? Ridiculous.

I can't see why they wouldn't at least leave old links working. This is a very big issue for many.

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