Before Box.net launched a few months back, I was offered an early preview and I chose to not to write about the service since I found the idea old, unoriginal, and uninnovative. Just today, though, they launched Box.net/lite and unlike its parent service, I can't exactly use any of those words to describe it (hence I'm obliged to write about it, sort of).
The service is incredibly simple. No registration or any hassles as such required, and you can essentially upload as many files as you want (whatever filetype) as long as they are below 10MB each. As for the process, you simply select a file, put in your name and e-mail address, and hit upload. It uploads the file, and if it's an image, video or an audio file also gives you the appropriate codes for you to use on MySpace, Facebook, and any other service which accepts HTML codes – including most blogging platforms and forum systems. Along with the code, you also receive a tiny little button code (handy for those forum images) which have the file name and your own name printed on it and presented in a nice way (do I hear viral marketing?).
What I like about Box.net is that it out-do's most of its competitors (ImageShack and PhotoBucket I'm mainly thinking of) and yet remains to stay reasonably comprehensive in other ways as well – be it its excellent user-interface or well-thoughtout page-to-page flow. It's also quite fast unlike some other services, and shares a distinct overall feel.
In the end, as its name applies, Box.net/lite ends up being just that – a light version of Box.net that focuses on a powerful audience rather than the early adopter geek storage crowd (which most storage services [including Box.net itself] have been chewing away on so far). This powerful audience, of course, is the MySpace/Facebook generation – the people who I think are the first of the 'mainstream' audiences that are starting to employ and incorporate Web 2.0 tools as such in their everyday lives. If this was an idea done a few months back before the social networking craze went flying through roof I would've said it's future looks promising, although now with a few others already taken their toll – I'm unsure as to where it will head.
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