Facebook takes small step into cloud storage

Facebook is slowly moving into the cloud.

The social networking giant confirmed Friday it was rolling out a storage service for users, creeping into the territory of Dropbox, Google and others, which offer free or paid storage of files that can be accessed from a variety of devices.

The move could give Facebook, which is launching a massive public offering next week, another service for its 900 million members worldwide.

"Yesterday, we started to roll out a new feature that lets people share files within groups," spokeswoman Meredith Chin said.

"We first introduced this feature a few months ago with Groups at Schools. Now, we're making it more widely available. It'll roll out to more groups over the course of the coming days and all groups should have it soon."

Facebook will limit file sizes to 25 megabytes and will not allow certain items such as music, which could be subject to copyright. Other potentially "malicious" file types will also be excluded.

Last month, Google launched its long-anticipated "Drive" service that lets people store photos, videos, and other digital files in the Internet cloud.

The booming trend of smartphones or tablets being at the center of mobile lifestyles is prompting the storage of more data in the cloud, prompting services from firms such as Apple, Dropbox and others.

Many of the services offer a limited amount of storage for free and allow users to upgrade to a paid service for more space.

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