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April 12, 2016updated 05 Sep 2016 11:29am

Facebook Messenger signs up to Dropbox, integrates file sharing in collaboration push

News: Further enhancements are expected at Facebook's F8 developer conference in San Francisco this week.

By James Nunns

Facebook is rolling out two new features for its Messenger service.

Fans of Facebook Messenger and Dropbox will soon be able to connect the two services by being able to put files from your Dropbox account directly into conversations.

The move which increases the messaging app’s resemblance to email, will be accessible by pressing the "More" button in a conversation, which will allow users to go through their files and directories in Dropbox.

While photos and videos will appear instantly in-chat, other files types will appear as links to the Dropbox app, or to the Dropbox website if shared from a desktop. This appears like a handy way for Dropbox to increase its user base.

For Facebook, this system means that the company won’t actually be hosting any sensitive documents it will just be linking to them.

The benefit of this is that it should help to reduce any friction for users of the app.

This isn’t the first effort that Facebook has made to introduce a file-sharing solution with the company creating an option for Groups back in 2012.

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Dropbox’s integration into Messenger on both iOS and Android sees the company add another significant link to its service.

The file-sharing and collaboration service is focused on ease of use and being integrated into popular offerings such as Facebook Messenger and Microsoft Outlook gives it a large customer base to tap into, while also making it easier for customers to collaborate.

The idea is that instead of users having to jump in and out of different apps to pick up links and send them, it can all be done from inside one app.

Followers of Facebook should expect a raft of news coming their way over the next few days as the company holds its annual F8 developer conference.

Zuckerberg F8 Developer Conference.

One of the early developments coming out of the conference is a feature that gives users of video chat the option of switching to a persistent "Chat Head" interface rather than full screen. Although iOS users will have to stay inside Messenger to see this, Android users will have a floating video chat circle on-screen that will follow users as they navigate their phone.

Facebook owned WhatsApp has also recently been given upgrades with end-to-end encryption.

The focus at the F8 developer conference in San Francisco is expected to be on Facebook’s experimentation with chatbots that will allow users to order products directly through Messenger.

In addition to this feature, the bots will help businesses to interact with customers through simple conversations. According to Forbes, Facebook will publish API’s and a re-written SDK to give businesses access to the chat app’s network of active users through the bots.

Messenger is currently used by more than 900 million people per month but Facebook will have to be careful with what changes it implements. Users of social media tools aren’t always the most open to change, as highlighted by changes that Twitter has been implementing in order to try and revive the platform.

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