Facebook file-transfer app Pipe goes wide Wednesday

After more than a year of working out the kinks, Pipe is set to go public on Wednesday, letting Facebook friends transfer files as big as a gigabyte.

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Pipe, a peer-to-peer file-sharing app for Facebook along the lines of Dropbox, is set to launch for the public at large Wednesday, creating a simple way for people on the massive social network to share big files that, thus far, Facebook itself hasn't provided.

The Pipe app allows users to simply drag and drop a file for a friend to receive it directly.

"We've worked really hard to make Pipe this simple," Simon Hossell, founder and chief executive of Pipe, said in a statement. "We've made the technology invisible."

The company took its time in beta, laboring since May 2012 with a smaller cohort of users, to work out bugs and raise funds.

It works for any type of file up to 1 gigabyte. That's enough space for around 15 hours of music or even some shorter full-length movies. It's done in real time, but if the receiving friend is offline, the file can be retrieved later from a locker. That locker can only store 100 megabytes, but there's no limit on the number of lockers available to a given user.

And the files aren't passing through Facebook, instead going directly from one computer to the other, keeping privacy worries related to the network at bay.


The app is set to be available on the Facebook App Center at 6 a.m. PT Wednesday, and only senders need to have the app for it to work. That means usage is likely to spread virally, as one friend sends files to another, who automatically gets the app in order to download the files.

Pipe is desktop-bound for now, but a mobile version is said to be in the works.

(Via Mashable and GigaOM.)