Mobile App Success Story: Dropbox -

Mobile App Success Story: Dropbox


Let us guess! Your first thought when you woke up this morning was: “It’s Monday again!!!”. Well, one funny way to get rid of the Monday blues is to think about our next riddle:
Which app allows you to:

  • Sync your files across all your devices;
  • Share important documents with your friends and family;
  • Comment on files for a better collaboration with your team;
  • Edit Word, PowerPoint and Excel files?

If your answer is Dropbox, then you are absolutely right! Let’s discover more about this app.


Brilliant Idea

The main idea behind Dropbox, was implemented many years ago, in 2007, by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, in the form of a file hosting service. It all started as a solution for its creators (Nothing new here!). It appears that, while he was an MIT student, Drew Houston realized that he needed a virtual place to save his files, something better than a USB flash drive. Of course, keeping your files in the cloud isn’t so innovative now but back then people used to store their documents on hard drives. Dropbox was one of the first apps launched on Apple App Store. You probably know that Steve Jobs wanted to buy the company, but Dropbox owners refused the offer. After a while, the app became available also for Android users and now Dropbox is the go-to service for file management. This year, the company went public. Let’s discover the most important methods applied for reaching this success.

How Dropbox Did It

Today we discuss Dropbox, but if you want to know more about productivity apps, we invite you to check our guide with recommendations on how to promote this category of apps.


Speaking of productivity, we all want a magic wand or some magic dust to make us more efficient. But, instead, we use mobile apps. More specifically, we install an app for every important task. And that is where Dropbox comes in, highlighting that user doesn’t have to fill their phone with all kinds of apps because Dropbox is enough to handle all their files and to get their work done. One of the most important advantages offered by Dropbox is that you don’t have to worry about backing up your data. Additionally, you can use the app in places without an internet connection. There are various occasions when you drive into the middle of nowhere!



Although it’s hard to believe that a single app can help users collaborate with their colleagues and managing their files, this is possible. Just remember Slack’s strategy! With a simple design, even the most complex app can offer a great experience for its customers. With a clear interface, Dropbox does the job. Keep in mind that users don’t have to be aware of all the processes that run in the background. All they want is to have an app which makes their work a lot easier. If you want to learn more about UX trends of 2018 for mobile apps we have what you need.



We always say that friends’ recommendations are very powerful. And Dropbox creators know that more than anybody else because they implemented a smart strategy for convincing users to bring their friends into the app. If you want to apply this technique, keep in mind that users will need something valuable for spreading the word about your product. For example, Dropbox team offered extra 500 MB for both users and their friends. In case you need some tips and tricks for building a referral program go back to one of our previous articles.


More Incentives

Since we talk about innovative ways to reward users, we should mention also about the bonuses received by Dropbox users if they appreciate the app on the most popular social channels. It is all about connecting with your friends and sharing your impressions about how easy it is to use the service. For all the app owners out there, this is one of the best ways to make your app viral! Users who spread the love for your app are the most valuable ones because they help you with the organic growth of your creation. Think about interesting ways to convince users to share their thoughts on social networks!


Freemium Model

If you thought that freemium system is suitable only for a game, then think again! We have various stories to prove that. And this is also the business model chosen by Dropbox creators. Users can download and use the app for free and if they want more advanced features they will have to pay for them.

If you want to discover all the facilities offered by Dropbox, the preview video available on app store describes everything in a fun and simple way. This is a great opportunity for every business owner to present a product. More details on how to create compiling videos for app store page you will find in one of our blog posts.


Bonus Tip: Affiliate Marketing Is Beneficial For Both App Owners And Users!

It is true that many customers started to use Dropbox through referral program but what was before that? Affiliate marketing! Dropbox creators used to pay everyone for mentioning the platform on websites and blogs and convincing users to subscribe for the pro version of the product. Meanwhile, they applied many other strategies for increasing the number of their users but this technique still remains efficient for all business owners. Moreover, there are tools, like Go Trace by App Samurai which helps you track links and monitor them in an incredibly easy way. Just give it a try!

Final Thoughts

See? This Monday isn’t that bad! And you have to admit that there are many valuable lessons you can learn from this story. Interestingly, Dropbox started as a file hosting tool and became a trustful productivity service. We encourage you to study and adapt the methods used by its creators for promoting their mobile apps. As you can see they are very efficient and they cost almost nothing!


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