Last week Jolicloud took a big leap forward by announcing that Jolicloud is now being relaunched as Jolidrive, a newly redesigned and updated service enabling users to effectively manage their ‘personal cloud’. The new Jolidrive now supports a more extensive range of cloud-based services and, due to their decision to move from a mobile app to a HTML5 only approach, allows users to access, listen to, watch. and/or edit their personal files from a single browser-based interface. This means that Jolidrive users no longer need to download anything and can simply ‘run everything from the cloud’. In addition, Jolidrive more than triples from 5 to 16 the number of web services and social networks their users have access to, including such big additions as Instagram, Youtube, Picasa, Vimeo, Soundcloud, Pocket, etc. Additional services, such as music streaming sites Rdio, Deezer, and Spotify, are apparently the next candidates to be added with many more to come.
Tariq Krim’s vision from the beginning of Jolicloud’s founding has always been to give users a service that would fully enable them to manage their digital lives. I caught up with him recently to understand more about how Jolidrive fits with their overall strategy and its benefits for the ecosystem.
How has Jolicloud’s strategy evolved over the years and how does Jolidrive fit with your vision?
Jolicloud has been pursuing the same vision since our founding 4 years ago, which is also shared by Marc Andreessen; essentially that one day the computer experience would be fully available in the browser. Many people know us by our OS, which was actually born a bit by accident because when we started out, no system at that time supported HTML5 (where we ultimately wanted to go). Our efforts though on the OS laid the foundation for the personal cloud, which is a sort of evolved online office. Each product iteration enabled us to add new functionalities. What we found though was that after launching our applications and our own App Center, which had 1500 official apps and 80k user-created apps, we didn’t yet have a way for our users to (fully) access their personal information in the cloud. Our first offer to address this, JoliMe, didn’t exactly correspond to what our users were looking for. So with Jolidrive, we’ve taken an entirely different approach.
What are the implications of the move to Jolidrive for the tech ecosystem, particularly in France and Europe?
One of the big advantages of Jolidrive is its flexibility to add new partners via our API. For the launch, we have focused on large services like Dropbox, Google Drive and YouTube, but our ambition is to cover all the services we use in our digital lives. We want to become the hub from which you add the services that you already know, but also services you have not tried yet. We want to promote through our product the European and French ecosystem. There are tons of interesting services being built in Europe and in France, and they deserve better visibility. We hope that at our level we will become one of the platforms to give them this exposure.
Successful launch with more to come
The launch of Jolidrive has been going very well for Krim and his team since last week’s release. Twitter has been a buzz, to the tune of about 1 tweet per minute, with positive reviews of Jolidrive. It has also gotten a big thumbs up from key tech ecosystem players such as Spotify founder Daniel Ek, Zipcar (now Buzzcar) founder Robin Chase, and superstar DJ / Daft Punk producer Paul Oakenfold who all gave their ‘tweets of approval’ to the relaunched service. Encouragingly, this interest is also converting into usage as Jolidrive was also trending on Google Chrome Extension store over the weekend. All the positive feedback, their rapid fire approach to migration which will see users moved asap to the new platform, and their ambitious roadmap which includes important new functionality such as enabling users to seamlessly move their data between the different services on Jolidrive, should go a long way in helping them to keep up their momentum and, most importantly, bring new users into the fold.