Dropbox weaves cloud photo service Loom into Carousel

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Another cloud photo service vanishes into acquisition-land: Loom announced on Thursday that it’s joining forces with Dropbox, presumably to beef up the storage company’s newly launched Carousel app and other photographic features.

In an email to current Loom subscribers, the Loom team wrote: “We have worked hard on our product and feel that our vision aligns perfectly with Dropbox’s vision for Carousel.” For those who have used Loom, the comparisons are easy to make—Loom at one point offered Dropbox-like sync functionality with your desktop computer, and its primary interface is, like Carousel, a timeline.

Loom, however, also offers album organization, which may bode well for impending Carousel improvements; the service’s iOS apps also provide one of the best gesture implementations for selecting photos—swiping to highlight a group—that I’ve ever used, and it makes me hopeful that such a feature will soon find its way into Dropbox’s photo app.

While these features and Loom’s excellent uptime were no doubt perks for Dropbox, I’m betting that the storage company is most interested in Loom’s scaling algorithm: It serves user photos and videos to each device at its proper Retina-quality scale, saving both time and bandwidth.

As part of the acquisition, Loom is no longer accepting new signups; current users can still upload photos to the service until May 16. At that point, they’ll be prompted to either export their library to Dropbox or download a compressed version of it to their computer. (You can do either of these before May 16, but once you export your photos to Dropbox, your Loom account will be frozen and inaccessible.)

If they choose to move their Loom library to Dropbox, current users also get a few perks: Free accounts get 5GB on Dropbox, forever, while paid users retain a year’s worth of the space they’d paid for at no charge.

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