Dropbox shutting down Carousel and Mailbox

8 Dec 2015

And so the dream is dying. Dropbox’s high hopes of owning the email world are nearing an end, with news that both Mailbox and Carousel are on the way out.

After buying Mailbox back in 2013 to much fanfare, Dropbox was targeting a vast, disparate email market awash with clunky, aged, poorly functioning competitors. Amid them, too, lay some genuinely well-regarded operators, but Dropbox thought it could change the game.

And, to be fair, it did to a degree. Bringing it’s expertise and extensive experience in cloud management, which is largely what email hosting is all about nowadays, plenty of people got in line with what Dropbox wanted.

Mailbox catered to those who wanted an email service, and Carousel was Dropbox’s own gallery feature.

However, just not enough people, it seems, took notice. And, while not garnering the attention it wanted from a prospective audience, it gained too much attention from competitors.

Swipe, swipe, swipe

For example, when you check your emails on your phone, do you swipe left and right to archive them, delete them, pass through them etc?

Well, Mailbox started all those shenanigans and, while both it and Carousel enjoyed little to no improvements in the past six months or so, the likes of Gmail, Outlook and the rest have consistently tweaked and tailored their offering.

This means that the numbers Mailbox did have were being left behind, while the numbers Mailbox wanted were being catered for by competitors.

So, as of February (Mailbox) and March (Carousel) next year, these services will be no more.

“The Carousel and Mailbox teams have built products that are loved by many people and their work will continue to have an impact,” explained Dropbox’s founder and CEO Drew Houston and CTO Arash Ferdowsi in a blog post.

“We’ll be taking key features from Carousel back to the place where your photos live – in the Dropbox app. We’ll also be using what we’ve learned from Mailbox to build new ways to communicate and collaborate on Dropbox.”

Carousel image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic