Cloud Storage Industry Is Still Very Much Up for Grabs

Yesterday, Google announced its latest product: Google Drive. By now you have probably read all about its features, storage capacity, pricing, and other competitors in the market such as Dropbox and Microsoft's SkyDrive, but what you most likely haven't seen is a breakdown of how people are reacting to the release of Google Drive. Google drive logo Well, now you will.

We analyzed over 90,000 conversations that took place yesterday (April 24th, 2012) on Twitter, Facebook, and forums to find out how many people were planning to switch to Google Drive, remain loyal to their current cloud storage provider (e.g. Dropbox, SkyDrive, etc), use multiple cloud storage providers, or were just unsure about what they were going to do.

What We Found

 

On the Edge

Interestingly enough, a majority of people (32%) were unsure about whether they would switch to Google Drive. While this can be attributed to it being new and people haven't had enough time to use it yet, there was definitely some concern regarding the Terms of Service for Google Drive and what that meant for people who upload their data to the service specifically regarding ownership and whether they would be targeted with ads based on their uploaded data.

Switchers

Despite the concerns and the newness, 27% of people were jumping on the Google Drive bandwagon. Users who liked Google's latest product cited things like affordable pricing, design, and integration with Android as reasons for switching.

Loyalists

Coming in at 22% are the people who plan to stick with their current cloud storage provider due to feature limitations of Google Drive, app integration with other services (e.g. 1Password and Dropbox), and lack of trust for Google. Out of those people, most seem to prefer Dropbox over SkyDrive and other alternatives.

Hoarders

This data surprised us: 19% of people plan to use multiple cloud storage services. We expected this percentage to be higher, simply because all of the major players in the space offer free accounts, so why not take advantage of all that free space? Well, as it turns out, that is exactly what people within this category seem to be doing, with many users citing the aggregate amount of storage they now have on all the different services.

Demographics

Gender

This conversation was primarily male dominated with 73% of conversation being generated by males while females accounted for 27%.

Age

20 and under: 13% 21-35: 46% 36-50: 30% 51 and over: 11%

The age demographic that accounted for most of the conversation was the 21 to 35 year olds (46%) which makes sense because a lot of young people use cloud storage services for school, sharing files, and more recently in work environments.  However, what may be surprising to you is the 11% of conversation that the 51 and over age demographic accounted for.  While we typically do not see that age range account for much technology discussion, the "spike" may be attributed to potential privacy concerns about being targeted with ads based on uploaded data as well as concerns regarding ownership of data uploaded to Google Drive.

What's It All Mean?

 

While we cannot predict what service people will end up choosing in the long-run, we can say that at this point in time the cloud storage industry is still very much up for grabs.  Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Box.net, etc all have their work cut out for them and we expect the industry to continue to work on building innovative features and offer more space for less cost.  In the end, all of this works out well for the end-users who get the features they want at the best possible price.