File hosting services like Dropbox and Google Drive have made it easy for anyone to distribute files through Shared Folders. You can upload a file to your shared folder and that file is instantly available to all other people with whom you have shared that folder. In the case of Google Drive, you can even create “public” shared folders where your files can be viewed by anyone on the web.

The problem is how do you keep people in the loop when you add new files to a shared folders. Also, the less tech-savvy crowd may still prefer to receive these shared files as email attachments instead of using Dropbox or Google Drive.

shared folders

iBeam.it, a new web service from Wappolf, is trying to solve this problem in an interesting way. Here you can put your files on Google Drive or Dropbox as before and the files are instantly “beamed” to other users who are watching your shared folder.

To get started, you just have to connect any of your Dropbox or Google Drive folder with iBeam.it (it uses OAuth). The folder get a unique URL that others can use to follow your folder (see this sample folder).

The “followers” are unaware of the service that you are using to host your files and they may choose to “receive” them inside Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, SkyDrive, Box and other popular services. Alternatively, they may choose to follow your Shared Folder through email and in that case, they will get your files as email attachments.

The service is free though you are only allowed to beam files up to 25 MB in size. Most email programs won’t handle attachments that large anyway. Also, sharing is one way – if you delete a file from the shared folder, it won’t be deleted from the folders of other users.

Similar things can possibly be done through IFTTT but iBeam.it is super-easy and doesn’t even require you to create an account.