Facebook has just gained the ability for users to send files directly from one to another, after experimenting with a size- and functionally-limited group file sending service for a while. Meet Pipe, the fast and easy way to send up to a gigabyte of data to your best friends.
While the Facebook Groups feature, which can act as a file-sharing service, has been available to some users, the new Pipe app is accessible to all users and simply requires the sender to be running the app. It works a little like giving a friend a thumb drive containing files you want them to access, versus online file “locker” services like Dropbox’s one. With Pipe you select which of your friends you want to send the file to, and drag and drop the appropriate file into the large graphical pipe opening on the screen. It doesn’t even have to be a simultaneous transfer, at least for files up to 100MB because Pipe can simply store them temporarily–when the recipient next logs in they are alerted to the fact there’s a file transfer waiting for them.
Pipe is a clever solution to simple file sharing in a world where the thumb drive may be slowly disappearing, and it leverages the fact that everyone is on Facebook. The files don’t pass through Facebook’s servers, and the company says it’s safe and secure.
Would you trust Facebook as a vehicle for sharing important files with your friends?