Users of the world’s most popular social media platform Facebook spend an incredible amount of time sifting through information on other users – whether it’s looking at photos, browsing uploaded videos or just checking status updates.
But one thing that Facebook lacks, is the ability to send and receive files to other Facebook users directly through the social media website – until now.
Pipe, a new service residing in Facebook, aims to change the way users transfer files to each other, and files as large as 1GB can easily be shared through a simple drag-and-drop application.
Not only is it new to Facebook, but according to the company, it’s completely different to other file-transfer sites on the internet.
“Only Pipe creates a direct, P2P connection without any additional software to install on the user’s machine. Speed and privacy are guaranteed because it’s a real-time direct connection that uses the maximum bandwidth available, and there’s no cloud service provider asserting ‘rights’ over the files they’re hosting for you,” the company explained.
In its very simplest form, Pipe is an application that the sender loads on their Facebook page, and simply drops a file into in. After selecting the users who should receive the file, the rest is taken care of by Pipe. The receiver doesn’t need to have Pipe installed in order to receive the file.
“We’ve worked really hard to make Pipe this simple. Anyone can use it. The user just drops a file in the Pipe and their friend receives it. We’ve made the technology invisible. Unlike all other solutions, Pipe is deeply integrated within the Facebook Platform, so all of your friends are already there and no invitation is necessary. Only you, the person sending the file, needs to be on Pipe because when your friend accepts the file transfer the Pipe app installs for them too.
Pipe is the first to build such a tight integration into Facebook,” Simon Hossell, Pipe’s CEO and Founder told IT News Africa.
But the thought of having an app install on a Facebook profile that will allow for private file transfers, is something that might raise security questions with some users. Hossell assured IT News Africa that the whole process is done safely and securely.
“Pipe is safe and secure to use with people you love and trust because we’ve created a direct peer-to-peer connection between you and your friend. We’ve created Pipe to let people connect directly, privately and in real-time. Just look around you… this is the way people interact with each other all the time”
Hossell also confirmed that at no point in the file transfer process does the file upload to the Facebook website, as the connection is strictly from computer to computer. It literally creates a pipe straight through the Facebook website – similar to a water pipe that goes from one point to another underground.
Files can even be sent to users on Facebook who are offline, as the technology creates a virtual locker to temporarily store the file.
“Even though a direct connection is impossible, Pipe still delivers the file – storing it securely in a locker for the friend to retrieve later. A locker can store up to 100 MB, and there is no limit to the number of lockers available to a single user.”
“Only they have one-time access to this file, and the sender decides whether it “expires” after 1, 3 or 5 days if not retrieved, unlike most cloud-based storage services,” Hossell added.
Hossell reiterated the easy-to-use and user-friendly interface that will allow users to send files. “Pipe is the simplest way to send a file: just select a friend, pick a file and drop it in the Pipe. Your friend receives it instantly, as if by magic.”
For more information, go to www.pipe.com
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor