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Box update uses tips from Facebook

Cloud storage service Box has unveiled an interface overhaul to make things more social by taking a few tips from Facebook.

The new Box experience means "content is more social," Box said in its video demo. Like Facebook, the Box dashboard on top of the main page includes icons that will alert you when you have new messages or tasks waiting.

"All your tasks and pending messages are in the header ... so now it takes just a click to find what you need to work on, no matter where you are in Box," Brandon Savage, a Box group product manager, explained in a blog post.

There's also a search bar that will provide suggested results as you type, you can now "like" a file and you can hover over a file to see who created it. Those with corporate email addresses, meanwhile, will find it easy to locate colleagues thanks to a special tab that lists everyone in your domain.

Box is also taking the beta tags off its Box Edit feature. "Now you can edit content directly from Box in the preview page – images, PowerPoint presentations and even CAD files – with whatever programs you already have installed on your computer," Savage wrote.

You can also create new Word, Excel, or PowerPoint docs without leaving Box, and lock those documents while you're working. To try it, just click "Edit" on any file preview page.

Box CEO Aaron Levie made the announcements as part of the company's BoxWorks conference. But for those who want a more immersive Box experience, the firm also announced Box Embed. The HTML5-based framework will - as the name suggests - embed the Box experience directly into your online workspace.

Box has already inked deals with 10 software partners, so "if you're a user of Box and Concur, Cornerstone OnDemand, DocuSign, Eloqua, FuzeBox, Jive, NetSuite, Oracle, SugarCRM or Zendesk, you'll be able to access the whole Box experience and work with your content from within those apps as well," said Chris Yeh, Box's vice president of platform.