Dropbox badge and commenting to help businesses collaborate

Dropbox for Business is pushing its badge and commenting feature out to wider availability after being in beta phase since early December.

Dropbox for Business has announced the launch of Dropbox badge and commenting, aimed at further enticing business users to the platform.

From Wednesday, users will be able to collaboratively work inside any open Microsoft Office document with Badge -- this includes seeing who else is viewing or editing the file, checking for the most recent version, and generating a link to share the document.

Dropbox product manager Matt Holden boasted that it was the most popular feature in the company's early access program, which was introduced in early December as part of Project Harmony. In fact, during the beta program, Badge was used by 13,000 customers, and one in three used it every week.

"The original reason we built Badge was because we saw the huge usage of MS Office, and we wanted to make that experience better. One of the core problems people faced was they said, 'I may not know if someone is there'. And that was the problem we set out to solve," he said.

Dropbox for Business badge (Image: Supplied)

Dropbox's other new feature is commenting, which will be available on Dropbox for Business from March 24. It will allow users to bring up files and make comments, or have a conversation in an open file.

According to Holden, the idea behind the feature was to bring conversations that would usually happen via email into the document, so that people wouldn't lose track of discussions.

"All the types of workflow often happen around a file. We found a lot of the conversation was happening in emails, and we wanted to bring the conversations next to the document. Everyone wants fewer emails in their inbox," he said.

Dropbox commenting will initially be made available to customers on the Dropbox website and its iOS app, but the company expects to bring the feature to its Android app and desktop application in the future.

Earlier this month, Dropbox pushed out the wider availability of Groups and Groups API, which allows any team subscribing to Dropbox for Business to create and manage lists of members within Dropbox and designate access to specific folders.

Since being launched in April 2013, Dropbox has made a string of Dropbox for Business announcements, including upgrades around search and sharing controls, security, and the introduction of Dropbox for Business API, with a particular focus on work collaboration.

Dropbox currently has over 300 million users worldwide, with around 70 percent outside of North America. Dropbox for Business has over 100,000 companies that are customers of the platform. In Australia specifically, Dropbox for Business experienced a 150 percent year-on-year growth in the last year, servicing 95 percent of the top 100 ASX companies.