How to Track Downloads in Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box
When it comes to tracking downloads in cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box, most of these services don’t offer a straightforward or free way to know how many times your files are being downloaded.
Using an analytics service like Google Analytics requires a pretty advanced understanding of coding and access to the backend of your site. So if you’re looking for an easy, no-fuss way to figure out how many times your files are being downloaded, here are three options.
1. Use a URL Shortener
When sharing the link to your file publicly, you can use an URL shortener like Bitly or Google URL shortener. With both sites, logging into your account, you can view the latest links you’ve shortened, and the number of times the link has been clicked.
While this doesn’t necessarily translate into an actual download, it does help you gauge interest in the file.
2. Use a Third-Party Service
Dropbox users can use a third-party website like Orangedox which makes it incredibly easy to keep track of how often your file is downloaded. You will have to sign up for two separate accounts for each account.
A free account gives you 50 share links and 60 days metric history. For $10 per month you get unlimited links and history, as well as shortened or custom URLs.
After granting Orangedox access to your Dropbox account, you can browse your Dropbox files directly from within the site and generate a share link. Use that link on your website and every time someone downloads your file, it will be tallied by Orangedox.
Orangedox appears to have a similar service for Google Drive users, but it appears that you can only use it (and get six free months of the service) after five people sign up for the service using your personal URL.
3. Use Box’s Native Tracking
Box is the only service that has a tracking feature built in, but it does require a paid upgrade to a Business account. All three tiers of Business accounts, starting at $5 per month, give users access to download stats for each file they share. You can also exclude downloads by the owner from the count.
Do you have any tips or tricks for tracking downloads in Google Drive, Dropbox, or Box? Let us know in the comments.
Image Credit: Bedrin via Shutterstock.com