With Box, there are two primary ways to share content with colleagues and friends, by inviting existing Box users as collaborators or by sending shared links.
What is a collaborator?
Collaborator: An individual with a Box account that has been invited into a folder. If you are a collaborator, the folder will appear when you log in to your Box account.
Figure 1. A list of collaborators within a folder will appear on the right hand side of the screen.
How to invite a collaborator into a folder:
To make an existing folder a Collaboration Folder, click on the little box with the downward arrow and select 'Invite Collaborators'. A pop-up window will appear. Enter the email addresses of the individuals you would like to collaborate with.
NOTE: This must be the same email address your collaborators have used to register for their Box accounts. Please verify this before you proceed. If a user does not yet have a Box.net account, they will recieve an email inviting them to sign up for a free account. Once they sign-up they will have immediate access to the collaboration folder.
Once you have entered them all, click 'Ok,' and email notifications will be sent to those contacts. Once they log into their Box.net account, they will be able to accept or reject your invitation to collaborate on that folder.
When a folder becomes a Collaboration Folder, its icon will change: Rather than being a plain, yellow folder, it becomes a blue folder with a small image of two people on it. All collaboration folders will automatically appear at the top of your files list within your account.
When should I invite someone in as a collaborator versus send them a shared link?
Collaborator: Invite an individual into a folder as a collaborator if you are actively working with them on a long-term basis. Collaboration provides a two-way relationship; depending on their access level, collaborators can view, edit, upload/download documents, leverage social workflows (comments, tasks, etc.), and receive updates on actions taking place in the folder.
Shared link: Shared links provide a one-way relationship, allowing the recipient to preview or download the document or folder. They can continue to reference that link for the most up-to-date version of the content. Think of a shared link as a secure email attachment replacement.