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Dropbox clears 1 billion file uploads per day

Each day, the online storage company's 100 million users save more files than people tweet, CEO Drew Houston says. Next up: Dropbox family plans?

Dropbox CEO Drew Houston speaks at Mobile World Congress 2013.
Dropbox CEO Drew Houston speaks at Mobile World Congress 2013.
Stephen Shankland/CNET

BARCELONA, Spain--People save 1 billion files every day to Dropbox's online storage service, Chief Executive Drew Houston said today at the Mobile World Congress show here.

In addition, the company's 100 million users tap into the service with 500 million devices, he said. The statistics shows major growth for a company founded in 2007 when today's high-end smartphones only just were emerging.

When the company started, Dropbox could synchronize people's data among PCs, but now of course it helps bridge the gaps to smartphones, tablets, and presumably other Internet-connected devices of the future. The company has been gradually expanding the abilities of its software to make it more of a central hub for people's data with features such as graphics viewers and automatic photo uploads from phones.

Houston said the lavishly funded company plans more features. Among them are better tools to deal with people who use Dropbox for both work and personal tasks and family plans.

His speech was essentially a sales pitch to the mobile network operators and device manufacturers that dominate the show; Houston made the case that they should consider partnerships.

There's "untapped opportunity" for carriers that could sign up with Dropbox, mentioning the family plan possibility as an example. "We can tie a family together in a way that's broader than just a billing relationship," Houston said.

He also tried to nudge handset makers into partnerships, touting Dropbox's Samsung deal as an example. Samsung was initially leery of dumping its own cloud-based storage plan for a cross-platform service like Dropbox, but they found a way to stand out.

"The way they differentiate is by building Dropbox onto all these core features on the phone," Houston said.

Dropbox expects its users to link up another 150 million devices to the service in 2013.