What does Automattic’s Acquisition of Cloudup Mean for WordPress?

Matt Mullenweg, Automattic’s head honcho and the face of WordPress, recently posted on his blog about the recent acquisition of the file-sharing service Cloudup. While the service is not available publicly just yet, Mullenweg did release a few of hundred beta codes through his blog, and I was able to scoop one up last week to run through some of the initial offerings of Cloudup.

A quick look at Cloudup in beta

Automattic buys Cloudup

When you first login, you’ll notice one of the most simple screens on the Internet. Your only option is to “Click here or drag any type of file to your browser.” Without even knowing that they had been acquired by Automattic this screen really did make me think of the new WordPress media uploader, but this is so much prettier.

Automattic and Cloudup

Once you’ve uploaded your first file (I went ahead and uploaded some of our stock photography) the screen stays about as simple as it gets. Your last batch of files appears in a preview, and if you click on them you’ll be given more options to upload more files, change the name of the file group or even add a password.

Passwords feature

The password feature is great – it takes two seconds and then all you have to do is share the link and the password and it’s easy as that to have some protected files that you can still share.

So, what does this mean for WordPress

Obviously, with Cloudup being a file-sharing service, the biggest influence that their acquisition will have will be in relation to the media library. Mullenweg himself has said, “Not many people say their favorite WordPress feature is the media library.” Being a WordPress developer, I would have to agree – I love the CMS for many reasons, but the media library and uploader are definitely features that could be vastly improved. Just based off of the couple of days of using Cloudup and its beautiful interface, I’ve already had fewer issues with media uploads.

Plus, if you read our recent post on MP6 and the future of the WordPress UI, you’ll notice pretty quickly that the edit screen already looks fairly similar to the UI that will be available with the WordPress 3.8 release slated for December. It’s almost like they’ve got a jump start on incorporating this into the WordPress core. That being said, it’s a huge undertaking that has only recently been initiated so I wouldn’t expect anything huge until next year at the earliest. The 3.8 release has had no mention of a new media uploader and like I said it’s already slated for a December launch.

Going forward

Looking forward, I have to say I’m extremely pleased with where WordPress has gone in recent months, as well as what they have on the docket. They’ve made leaps and bounds with post types, the new UI is a serious step up and buying Cloudup illustrates that they realize their media capabilities could be severely improved. They keep taking steps in the right direction. Well done WordPress, well done!

December 12, 2013

About Drew Barton

Drew manages the team, leads business development activities and sets the overall vision of the company. A graduate of Emory University, he spent three years working at CNN.com before founding Southern Web in 2004. Drew is an Eagle Scout, an active member of Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) and a recipient of the International Association of Business Communicators’ Silver Flame Award for an article he wrote about boosting website traffic. On a mission to put his entrepreneurial acumen to good use, he’s currently writing a book for small business owners who are navigating the challenges of website development projects. In his spare time, he enjoys learning Spanish and investing in real estate.

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