Facebook File-Transfer App Pipe Relaunches, Now Works Via JavaScript, WebRTC


PipeUpload650Last June marked the debut of Pipe, an application that allowed Facebook users to send and receive files up to 1 gigabit in size. A new version of Pipe debuted Monday, and the app now works via JavaScript and WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communications), a new technology that enables real-time communication directly between computers and mobile devices, rather than via Adobe Flash.

When the Facebook friends on either side of the exchange are both online, they can directly transfer files of up to 1 GB, and if the recipients are offline, secure lockers can hold up to 250 megabytes for three days, up from 100 MB in the previous version of Pipe.

WebRTC allows developers to build apps that enable users to exchange voice, video, and data directly and seamlessly between compliant browsers, without the requirement of downloading plugins. Pipe said in cases when it is unable to establish peer-to-peer connections via WebRTC, it will use the Pipe Relay service to route files, adding that no other Facebook users can access Pipe transfers between two friends.

Pipe Founder and CEO Simon Hossell said in a release announcing the new version:

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

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.

We really learned a lot during the past six months, thanks to the feedback of the first Pipe users. It didn’t work properly for some people. There were bugs, obviously, but we also had to work on the use flow and communication within the app. Now Pipe is ready for everyone.

Readers: Have you ever tried Pipe or any other method of exchanging large files via Facebook?