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Dropbox’s new Professional tier brings its best business features to individuals

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Dropbox announced a new Professional tier of its paid cloud storage and collaboration service today that gives people like freelance designers and photographers access to features that were previously restricted to users inside a company.

It’s designed to serve the market of independent professionals who are using Dropbox to collaborate with other people, and would therefore benefit from some of the cutting edge capabilities Dropbox has released to its business customers over the years.

Dropbox Professional users will get access to Showcase, a new feature that lets them lay out sets of files inside a digital workspace with corresponding captions and descriptions. It’s designed to let people create digital lookbooks and other spreads for clients and collaborators.

Showcase will also give Professional users information about how people look through their Showcases. That way, customers can see what content of theirs is most interesting to clients, and potentially discover information about what motivates particular people they’re working for. (A potential customer who looks first at a price list might be cost-sensitive, for example.)

Users of Dropbox Professional will get 1TB of cloud storage, along with a 120-day file history so they can more readily recover lost data. Dropbox will also scan Professional subscribers’ files using optical character recognition technology, so that they can find information that’s inside documents and images.

They’ll also get increased control over the files that they share, so they can password-protect folders and create links that expire after a certain amount of time has elapsed.

In addition, Dropbox Professional users will get access to the company’s Smart Sync feature, which lets users stream files they have stored in the cloud to their desktop.

All of that will cost $199 per year, compared to $99 per year for Dropbox’s Plus tier.

Customers of Dropbox Business Advanced will be able to get access to Showcase as well through an early access program that the company is launching today.

Looking toward the future, people should expect that Dropbox Professional will get many of the same workplace-oriented features that the storage company’s team-focused services receive.

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