Dropbox uses social game tactics to increase virality

famous dropbox logoDropbox is one of the best known applications in the world that appeared in recent years. While Dropbox is really useful and a great app, perhaps some creative marketing helped it to go all the way to #1 file sharing app in three years. It turns out that Dropbox cleverly utilizes the same tactics that is commonly used among social gaming companies on Facebook and other social networks.

For example, once you sign up to Dropbox, you are offered to perform 5 of the following 7 steps to get 250MB of storage space for free:

  1. Take the Dropbox Tour
  2. Install Dropbox on Your Computer
  3. Put Files in your Dropbox Folder
  4. Install Dropbox on Other Computers You Use
  5. Share a Folder with Friends or Colleagues
  6. Invite Some Friends to Join Dropbox
  7. Install Dropbox on Your Mobile Device

Compare this to the 5 steps that Office Wars – an addictive Facebook game – asks to do in order to become an “Office Wars Pro” and get some perks for free (that otherwise would have to be bought for real money):

However, Dropbox doesn’t stop with the list above. More simple actions will get more free storage to the users, like:

  1. Linking Dropbox account to your Facebook account
  2. Following @Dropbox on Twitter
  3. Tweeting about Dropbox to your followers

Every step of the above will get you 128MB more. All this is on top of the “old school” marketing gig: any new user signing up to Dropbox off your referral link would add you 250MB of storage space for free.

It is very easy for Dropbox to utilize this tactics, because they can give away free space in small increments for just about anything: if you Like their page on Facebook, write a positive blog review about them, put Dropbox sticker on your laptop and post a photo of it – the possibilities are endless. It is much harder to do the same for a company that sells software for a one-time payment, like we sell MobileNoter SE. The company could give users discount coupons for the user actions it want to appreciate, but even this is not guaranteed to work – the biggest application store – the AppStore doesn’t support coupons.

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3 Responses to Dropbox uses social game tactics to increase virality

  1. Alan says:

    OneNote is a great program and I have tried to make OneNote work on my Android tablet, but the MobileNoter syncing is awkward. I wind up with multiple copies of my notebooks on my tablet because of syncing problems. EverNote seems to work seamlessly between my PC and my tablet. I really don’t want to move my info to EverNote, but it seems to be my only choice if I am going to have reliable up-to-date info on my tablet.

  2. […] is a well-known service that’s been around for a while. You get 2GB of storage for free, and you can get more if you help them with their […]

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