Dropbox and Video Sharing: Is This a Bad Idea For Organizations?

Dropbox and Video Sharing: Is This a Bad Idea For Organizations?

Dropbox said it had 15.48 million paying users in 2020, making it one of the most popular file hosting services in the world. While people typically use the platform to store documents and images in the cloud (and keep those files synced to their devices), Dropbox also can host and share videos. However, Dropbox and video sharing have many limitations. 

In this guide, learn more about Dropbox and video sharing and why you might want to consider an alternative platform to share video content online. 

Video Playback Limitations

While you can share video and other media files with other people through Dropbox, those people might not always be able to view your content. That's because Dropbox restricts video playback depending on the type of account the file owner has. 

Say you upload a 2-hour sales presentation to the platform and share it with stakeholders. If you are a Dropbox Basic user, those stakeholders can only stream the first 15 minutes of that video on Dropbox's website or mobile app. If you are a Dropbox Plus, Professional, or Family user, stakeholders can only view the first hour of your video. Stakeholders can only see the full 2-hour video if they have a Dropbox Business account. This is one major drawback to Dropbox and video sharing.

There is a way around these restrictions, however, if viewers can download the video to their personal devices. However, that defeats the purpose of video streaming, and many people won't want to download large files onto their laptops or smartphones. As you can see, Dropbox and video sharing can be a challenge if you need to stream long videos to audiences. 

Viostream is a video platform that doesn't restrict video playback. As long as you have enough bandwidth and storage, viewers can watch your videos in their entirety over and over again. That means your audiences don't have to download videos onto their computer to view them. Start a Viostream free trial now and check out the platform's other video management features. 

Related Reading: What Are Accessible Videos?

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Video Security

Dropbox and video sharing might seem like a good idea, but consider the platform's security capabilities. While Dropbox provides some access control features, you can't specify permissions for videos in sub-folders. That means you will need to either create permissions for the entire folder or leave files in sub-folders exposed. Many organizations want to specify permissions for some videos and leave other videos accessible to the public, but this isn't possible with Dropbox.

Another drawback of Dropbox and video sharing is you can't share videos over the internet with a password. That means anyone with access to a link to your video can view it, even if you don't want them to. And, of course, if people are able to download your video, they can share it with anyone, anywhere, at their discretion and not yours.

Related Reading: Best Secure Video Host for Your Company

Dropbox and Video Sharing: Video Analytics

Dropbox once offered analytics features that tracked shared files across the internet to users with Professional, Business Advanced, and Enterprise plans. While these metrics were limited, they provided context to shared videos, allowing file owners to see which audiences engaged with their content. However, Dropbox removed these features from its platform in October 2021 and no longer offers any video analytics at all. Now, Dropbox recommends users track shared files using a third-party tool called DocSend.

Tracking the videos you share is critical because you can discover how audiences interact with your content. For example, Viostream offers enterprise-grade analytics features that monitor video content as soon as you share it with other people. With its dashboard-style interface, you can interpret your video data with a click of a button and dig deeper into how viewers engage with content across devices and locations. Viostream's graphic engagement meter, for example, provides real-time insights into how well your videos perform so you can quickly replace low-engagement content with content that resonates with audiences. 

Learn more about Viostream's video analytics features. 

Related Reading: The Role of Video Analytics in Your Business Intelligence

If you're thinking about Dropbox and video sharing, you need to recognize that this platform has severe video playback limitations, no video analytics features, and lacks security capabilities that might put your videos (and possibly your organization as a whole) at risk. If you don't want audiences to download content to their devices and you need to track the success of your videos, you will be better off investing in a dedicated video platform instead.  

Viostream provides an alternative to Dropbox and video sharing with its advanced security, video management, and analytics features. To learn more, start your free trial now and test drive the platform for 14 days.

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Stuart Auld
Stuart Auld
Stuart Auld (Head of Infrastructure) is a multi-disciplinary engineer with broad-ranging experience at executive level delivering operational best practice across customer engagement, technology, change management and process improvement.
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