File-sharing enabled for Facebook Groups

11 May 2012

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Facebook Groups will now be allowed to share files, with the service being rolled out gradually over the next few days, an exclusive report on Mashable says.

A small percentage of Facebook Groups will have already seen the new upload feature added alongside the options to write a post, add photo or video, or ask a question, but it will soon be rolled out to all, Kate Freeman reports.

With the acquisition of Drop.io, a simple file-sharing service, in October 2010, it seems Facebook has had its sights on file sharing for a while now, and last month saw the launch of Facebook Groups for Schools, the first of Facebook’s services to enable users to share files.

To counteract the spread of pirated or malicious material, Facebook has imposed some restrictions on the service, according to the Mashable report. Music and executable (.exe) files are not permitted but most files up to 25MB (including e-books, comics and videos) can all be shared across a group.

The business of file sharing

Though this simply file-sharing option is a far cry from a full suite of file storage and collaboration tools, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. Dropbox has proven to be a great start-up success story and Google has upped its game in the file-sharing fray with the release of Google Drive. It was only a matter of time before Facebook threw its hat into the ring.

However, as Facebook remains a network very much focused on the personal, it’s not likely this new service will make a huge dent in the business market. As companies move towards cloud services, some are opting for readily available online providers like Dropbox and Google Drive – which I’m sure will see encouraging take-up owing to the number already using Google’s other services to run their business, such as Gmail, Google Apps and Google Docs.

But, seeing as many employers don’t like their employees to even have access to Facebook during working hours, seeing it as primarily a social tool, it’s unlikely they will be making use of the file-sharing option. That said, it is still going to be a very welcome function for users and it will be interesting to see how people exploit this for their own personal use.

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Elaine Burke is managing editor of Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com