Lately BetaKit has covered several services aimed at organizing a user’s cloud accounts, from Kitedesk to Openera. For users who are less concerned about searching their cloud accounts and are more concerned about file-sharing, there’s San Francisco-based Attachments.me. Launched in 2011 as a service to search attachments in Gmail, the company has evolved into a way to share files from the cloud with email contacts. Today the company is announcing the launch of Attachments Everywhere, the latest version of its product that focuses on making attachments more shareable and social.
Traditionally to share a file via email users would have to attach the file, or find the file in a cloud service like Dropbox and share the direct link to download. Now Attachments.me lets users attach files as links to their emails without having to leave their inbox, and is integrated with Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, and SkyDrive. Users can also attach a file from their computer, or attach an existing attachment in their Gmail inbox.
Similar to how Dropbox provides a unique landing page for each file, Attachments.me also creates a permanent page for each link or collection of links shared, so the email recipient could click to see that page and download the file, or users could share a link on Twitter or Facebook and anyone could visit that page to view the files. Today the company is also introducing analytics, so users can track who has viewed their files and downloaded them, available as part of the company’s $9 monthly pro plan (there is also a free plan for individuals and anyone who doesn’t want the premium features). The iPhone app was also updated today to reflect the new functionality.
“The big thing about this new product is we are owning the sharing portion of it,” co-founder Jesse Miller said in an interview. “Whereas before when you were grabbing a link you were grabbing a Dropbox link or grabbing a Box link now you’re moving that file into an Attachments.me share and using us.” In terms of privacy and security, Miiller said users can set passwords for those links, disable access based on email address, or set expiration dates for access.
Right now Attachments.me only works in Gmail, and while Miller says they do want to expand to different email providers like Outlook and Exchange, first they’ll look at integrating with marketing tools like Salesforce to further target sales professionals. Right now their pro users include real estate agents, salespeople, and business development reps, so those upgraded sales-focused features would likely add value for that segment.
This new focus on becoming a file-sharing tool outside the email inbox could put the company into direct competition with the services it supports, like Dropbox, since both companies focus on file-sharing. But Miller said they’ve been transparent with both companies about the new functionality and they don’t seem to view it as treading on their territory, since most users will just add their Dropbox or Box accounts and use them in conjunction with Attachments.me.
There are hundreds of thousands of users already on Attachments.me, though the company hasn’t reported on how many of those are paying for the pro account. Some of the features debuted today might seem unnecessary for people who already have a Dropbox or Google Drive account and don’t want another place to store and share files, but the company’s existing inbox functionality, like being able to add attachments to directly cloud storage accounts and set automatic filing rules, helps differentiate it. Attracting a larger base of sales-focused users with the new features will be key, and will help prove that email attachments are only the beginning for the platform.