We've made the spontaneous decision to publish the results of our latest survey. Privacy and data protection are our top priorities, so we will only be sharing trends and not individual responses. Ensuring the absolute anonymity of our users is of utmost importance to us. Consequently, questions that lacked multiple-choice answers will naturally be excluded. To make up for this, we will attempt to summarize the general consensus of the responses for you.
Please keep in mind this survey was carried out before the new mobile update, before the new infrastructure and before the last Black Friday sale.
Now, let's dive right in. We will always start by presenting the question, followed by the results in diagram form, if possible. Additionally, we will discuss what we've learned from the responses or what can be inferred. If you interpret the evaluation of a question differently from us, please feel free to let us know.
How do you like Filen's Cloud Service?
The first question in our surveys is always intended to provide a simple introduction into the topic and to collect the unbiased opinion of users before they can imply things from further questions. We ask for the initial reaction. But such a question is also interesting for the later categorization of answers, as users with a more negative attitude generally exhibit different response patterns than fans of our service.
Overall, we are satisfied with the results of this question. A score of 8.25 for the entire service is very satisfactory, especially given the age of our company. Nevertheless, one should not forget that most people who participate in a survey will either have a very positive or very negative bias towards the company asking the questions.We will of course continue to work hard to increase this score even further.
Where was your first contact with Filen?
The initial contact of users with the platform is, in principle, a very exciting question. In theory, this question can provide insights into the effectiveness of advertising projects, the potential target audience, and areas where new marketing initiatives might be worthwhile
However, in practice, it serves more as an indicator of the "demographics" of survey respondents rather than a detailed source of insights. Therefore, it's essential not to read too much into this question.
What we can gather from this is that our Reddit community is significantly more active than most others, and discussions on Reddit and review sites play a substantial role in gaining new users.
Of course, the bias must be taken into account because even if we have posted the link to the survey on all platforms, our subreddit still has the most activity.
This question offers a valuable basis for future comparisons in subsequent surveys, particularly after we have implemented marketing projects for the first time.
A follow-up question also revealed that users who chose "other" as the answer specified the following platforms:
Privacytools.io, Google search, Privacyguides.org, Github, Alternativeto.io, Youtube, App/Playstore, and more.
What or who convinced you to create an Filen account?
It's interesting to note that the website continues to play a significant role today. Despite the majority of our users originating from discussions, conversations, and contributions on forums and social media—where one might assume the opinion-forming process to be finalized—ultimately, it's the website that remains the crucial point in shaping opinions.
This shows us that we will definitely continue to work on the website.
As expected, social media comes in second place. Furthermore, the fact that the security white paper secured third place is a clear indicator that a large portion of our users possess a strong interest in privacy matters or have prior experience in the IT or internet security sectors.
However, it's worth acknowledging that users with a higher level of technical literacy are more likely to participate in a survey like this, so we must be cautious not to underestimate this potential bias.
The follow-up question to this question asked users if they could further specify their answer.
The answers varied greatly but the most common reasons were:
- Our online reviews
- The price
- The website
- The UX/UI
- The Terms of Service
How long have you been a Filen user?
The purpose of this question is primarily to help categorize the answers to the subsequent questions using the sorting feature. However, if we disregard the fact that more frequent Filen users responded to the survey, we can also observe that Filen's growth has been progressing quite well. In the last three months alone, we've added as many new users as we did in an entire past year. Of course we see the accurate numbers in our database.
But as already mentioned, this question is primarily designed to enhance the categorization of user responses. Through this categorization/classification, we gain insights into how users' opinions about the service vary (for example) depending on whether they have witnessed the company's developmental process or if they are new users who are only familiar with the current products.
Here you can see what such a connection diagram looks like. We create such diagrams between almost all questions, so it is not possible to show you all of them. This particular diagram shows you the connection between customer satisfaction and how long users have been with us.
The x-axis shows the answers to the question “How do you like Filen's Cloud Service?” bundled for optical clarity. The Y-axis shows the answers to the question “How long have you been a Filen user?” and the Z-axis is the number of users whose answers fall into the displayed category in percent.
A colored series (or a time period together) always adds up to 100%. We have divided the rating scale into blocks to make the diagram clearer. Since points 1-4 were very rarely checked, we have summarized these points. Because even in summary there is still no significant influence on the diagram.
Have you ever acquired a pro plan?
Here as well, we can naturally identify a bias, but this is not a problem as the question is intended to help us better classify the other answers by distinguishing between these two groups. It's evident that users who actively spend money on a service have a greater interest in the company's future. Therefore, it's not surprising to find a high percentage of such users in this survey.
Here, for example, you can see a diagram that relates the connection between free and pro users to the first contact with the platform. We can see that, for example, advice from friends/family or Twitter leads to fewer purchased pro plans and, for example, placed advertising, influencers or Discord leads to more.
What's stopping you from acquiring a plan?
It was exciting to see how many of you have been waiting for the BF Sale 2023. And we were definitely able to observe this as this year's Sale was the most successful, we have ever had.
In the survey, there were different follow-up questions for different answers, which we cannot present here for obvious reasons. For example, users who selected "Im missing a feature" were asked if they could explain this further. This gave us very important information about the future development of the service.
What percentage of your Filen subscription are you currently using? (Approximately)
This graphical summary shows it as it is. Overall, hardly more than 30-40% of all purchased storage is actually used. Of course, this is mainly due to the lifetime plans like the Pro 3 or Pro X.
What do you use Filen for?
Here we see a very harmonious distribution of the areas in which our services are used. It was to be expected that the private sector would be significantly stronger than the corporate sector. We are looking forward to seeing how such a graphic changes once functions such as Filen Spaces have been implemented.
Separate business plans are also being planned.
What is most important to you?
Of course, it was clearly foreseeable that the points of encryption and privacy are the most important for a service that specializes in encryption and privacy. The real value of the question lies again in the categorization.
How would you rate Filen's presence in the market?
Our market presence is one of the big topics that will accompany us in 2024. Compared to the other diagrams, this is the only one that looks mediocre in our opinion, and your feelings are definitely right. As you know, we have hardly advertised so far and are primarily increasing our visibility in forums, review sites and groups. That's because from the beginning of the company, we always felt that we had to "perfect" the service before we could promote it. However, we have now identified that an increased market presence could provide us with exactly the resources we need to achieve this goal. This year we will calculate a marketing burn rate and plan what we can do to increase our presence.
How would you rate the current web drive?
The current Web Drive works very well as it is. But ff course, there is always room for improvement, which is why we wanted to see what the general opinion of the users is. We are moderately satisfied with an average of around 7.7. The score is good, no question, but we definitely want to achieve a higher one in later surveys. For this reason, we have also attached a follow-up question to this question where we asked you to provide us with more details.
Here you can see what your most frequently mentioned points of criticism are/were (summarized and unsorted):
- More features
- Better Image viewer
- Better Video player
- More advanced versioning
- Global search
- Family or business plans
- Support more formats (for example Excel)
We have already addressed most of these points in one of the last two status updates that were published between the last survey and this post.
But ill summarize them here again as briefly as possible:
- More features
(Many new features have already been added or will be added in 2024. These include Filen Collaborate & Filen Spaces as well as Virtual Drive Mounting)
- Better Image viewer
(It's currently on our Roadmap after the Filen spaces)
- Better Video player
(Due to our encryption, a direct stream from the server to the end device is not possible in the normal way. We hope to find a detour that meets our security standards. Since research work is always very time-consuming, this project is currently only on the roadmap after the Filen Spaces.)
- More advanced versioning
(It's an interesting idea that we noted down. We'll see where there is room on our roadmap)
- Global search
(Unfortunately this is currently not possible due to our encryption. In order to be able to search all files, all files would have to be locally unencrypted, which they are not. But we'll continue to see what we can do to make progress here. Since research is one of the most time-consuming projects, it is currently on the back burner. Depending on how our personnel search progresses, such projects may be processed sooner or later.)
- Family or business plans
(Are planned together with the Filen Spaces)
(There have already been a lot of bug fixes in the meantime and will continue to come on a regular basis. We hope to be able to increase the frequency with new employees.)
(WebDAV will not exist in a traditional form, for example by connecting directly to our servers. This is not possible due to our end-to-end encryption. With the help of the desktop client, we will create a possibility to host a local instance, via which access will then be possible.)
(Since the survey, our new infrastructure has gone into action, which should have already increased speeds. This infrastructure structure provides the basis for further work on it over the course of the year.)
- Support more formats
(It's currently a little further back on the roadmap, precisely because there are so many important projects coming up. We can't promise anything, but maybe something will be added spontaneously here and there.)
What operating system are you using the
Filen Mobile App on?
A classic categorization/classification question. Do any of you know the difference between classifying and categorizing? Either way, this question provides a basis for comparison for the questions that follow.
How would you rate the mobile app (IOS)
How would you rate the mobile app (Android)
How would you rate the mobile app (other)
Let's summarize the last three diagrams.
Here are our findings as succinctly as possible:
- The overall score of all apps is as good as that of the web drive but still slightly worse than our overall score. Our good overall score is probably more influenced by the broad product portfolio, which is why specific products may perform worse/better.
- Hardly anyone uses operating systems other than iOS or Android.
- The IOS app is a little better received than the Android app. Although the IOS App has more limited functions, e.g. in terms of background upload.
- We think this might be because there are so many different devices and manufacturers in the Android space and there are also significantly more older smartphones in circulation. It is very difficult to make an app run equally well on all devices.
- We hope that the new mobile update will increase the score of the next survey.
Here are the points of criticism that you mentioned most often. And what has been done and will be done about it (all platforms, unsorted, summarized and we left out the positive criticism) :
- More Features
(Next Update Changelog: "Added folder downloads, added notes, added chats, added contacts, added automatic folder organizing for the camera upload")
(We have put new infrastructure into operation and have increased the speed in the next update.)
(Next Update Changelog: "Fixed many Bugs that we noticed in the last months".)
- Start-Up time
(Next Update Changelog: "Improved app startup time")
- Better File preview
(Next Update Changelog: "New image viewer")
- More integrations
(Next Update Changelog: "Added Android Documents Provider, Added Storage Access Framework support, Added iOS Files Provider, App specific files are now in a sandbox on iOS instead of public, Added exporting of files into other apps")
- Backround Sync
(Next Update Changelog: "Added automatic folder organizing for the camera upload, Added Android background transfers")
(Next Update Changelog: "UI adjustments, UI dimension fixes, Improved transfer UI & performance")
As you can see, we've already done a lot in the last update, you can see it here: https://blog.filen.io/status-update/#mobile-update
The update will be released as soon as possible after all test phases have been completed.
What operating system are you using the
Filen Desktop Client on?
Question for categorization/classification. We can also compare the question with our database where we can see what is used and how often. We can therefore say straight away that the number of Linux users in the survey is greatly exaggerated. It is probably the Linux users who are most knowledgeable and active in the IT sector and therefore generally have a higher interest in IT companies. Hence the increased number in the survey.
How would you rate the Filen Desktop Client? (Windows)
How would you rate the Filen Desktop Client? (MacOS)
How would you rate the Filen Desktop Client? (Linux & other)
Here is the summary of the last three questions.
What we notice summarized as succinctly as possible:
All 3 clients are similarly well received. Windows with a score of 7.6, MacOS with 7.49 and Linux with 7.08. This fits with our expectations as we distribute the development time in the same descending order. Of course, this is because we adapt to where our most users are. The more users benefit from a change, the more efficiently the development time was used. Nevertheless, we will of course take the client's need for improvement seriously and have also drawn our conclusions internally.
What can we do to improve the desktop client?
Here you can see what your most frequently mentioned points of criticism are/were and what we can say about it (all platforms, unsorted, summarized):
- Virtual Drive Mounting
(It is on our roadmap as described in the last status update)
- System Memory / System load
(We will try to improve it in the next update. How much the client loads the system depends very much on which system is used, on which device and how powerful it is, which is why it is difficult to give more precise data here. We have definitely taken note of the criticism and will see what we can do in the next client update.)
(Opinions varied greatly here, from users who told us not to change anything to users who would like to have everything new. What we do: we keep the basic structure but see where individual elements can be rearranged, added or removed.)
(Here too, the new infrastructure will take effect and increase the general upload speed. The next client update will put a lot of focus on local efficiency and speed.)
In fact, the feedback to the question was overwhelmingly positive (even though we asked about problems). Most of the criticisms were so specific that we can't list them all here. You were unexpectedly mild and also showed in your tone that most of you really had to think about it in order to find points of criticism. Very few, however, had severe problems. Our job is to find out why. Tutorials might also help to clarify some uncertainties in the future.
Well, that was the full run-through of the last survey. Remember that this survey was conducted before the last mobile update, before the new infrastructure and before the last Black Friday sale. We will create a new survey soon and see how the results have changed. Thank you for your attention, we hope that you appreciate our transparency.