Pipe Facebook P2P file sharing app gets updated

pipe lockerAs of the start of this week Pipe, the Facebook peer-to-peer sharing tool, is using the very latest WebRTC technology so that you can transfer 1GB files even easier between your friends over the social network.

The Berlin-based start-up brings the latest WebRTC technology to its peer-to-peer file transfer service on Facebook.

The Pipe app allows people on Facebook to connect by sending and receiving files up to 1 GB in a way that is simple, fast, private and secure.

No one else can access the file because it’s a transfer directly between two friends: just pick a friend and drop a file into the Pipe. Pipe is among the first to integrate WebRTC within a consumer app.

Pipe was first made available on Facebook in June 2013, based on Adobe Flash. The new Pipe app has been completely rebuilt using JavaScript and integrating WebRTC, instead of Flash. This was also an opportunity to simplify the user experience and just make the app more robust and reliable.

“This is new, pioneering technology and the timing is perfect for us. The WebRTC protocol was created to enable secure, realtime communication directly between computers and mobile devices, and that’s exactly what Pipe does”

says Simon Hossell, Founder & CEO of Pipe.

“This is groundbreaking technology, essentially rewiring the internet. WebRTC allows us to connect and communicate directly with each other through the computer browser peer-to-peer instead of exchanging data with remote third party web servers.”

WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communications) is a new technology that enables real-time communication directly between computers and mobile devices, allowing developers like Pipe to build new browser-to-browser applications for peer-to-peer (P2P) voice calling, video chat, and data transfer.

The technology behind WebRTC was originally developed by Google and has now became an open standard, supported already in the Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browsers.

Here’s how Pipe works

When the Pipe is green the friend on the other end is online and has the Pipe app open. The user can send a file up to 1GB via direct file transfer, powered by WebRTC. The Pipe app establishes a WebRTC connection to transfer the file when both the sender’s and receiver’s browsers are WebRTC compatible.

  • If one or both browsers aren’t WebRTC compatible, then Pipe connects the two computers via the Pipe Relay service and the file is transferred.
  • If a WebRTC connection fails for any reason, the user is offered the option to choose the Pipe Relay service instead.
  • A file is only stored momentarily in the Pipe Relay during a transfer between the sender and receiver and is removed immediately afterwards.

When the Pipe is blue (as in the picture above) the friend on the other end doesn’t have the Pipe app or doesn’t have it open, but a file can still be sent (up to 250MB), which will be stored in a Locker for up to 3 days.

The recipient then gets a notification within Facebook, that there is a file waiting for them to be retrieved via Pipe.

If it goes to someone that doesn’t use the Pipe app yet, they will receive a personal Facebook message from the friend sending them the file, telling them to get it from Pipe.

Try Pipe out by going to: https://apps.facebook.com/pipeapp/

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