Facebook file-transfer app Pipe set for Wednesday

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On Wednesday, Facebook will be launching a file-transfer service for the site called via a third-party app named Pipe, which will handle up to 1GB files for free.

The app that has been in beta for a year now, with an invitation-only user base whilst developers ironed out bugs with the software and completed an initial rounding of funding, will handle up to 1 GB files for free.

Pipe is a peer-to-peer file-sharing app for Facebook along the lines of Dropbox. It will create a simple way for people on the massive social network to share big files that.

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

The service works primarily in real time, with both the sender and recipient logging into the app. The sender then drags and drops whatever they wish to send onto an image of a pipe (bearing a striking resemblance to those found in the Super Mario franchise) and the file is sent via a peer-to-peer (P2P) connection.

This P2P architecture means that neither Facebook nor Pipe will be able to snoop on the contest of the file. If the recipient isn’t online when the file is sent then it will be stored for 5 days before being removed from the system.

Whilst P2P transfers can go up to a hefty 1GB, the max size for file-waiting exchanges is only 100MB per contact.

“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.”

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.

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.

From tomorrow Pipe will be available for desktops, though Hossell has said an iOS version is waiting in the wings, and an Android app should follow soon after.

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