Yesterday I talked about my excitement for a new feature being dropped on us within the Facebook ecosystem. It’s not by Facebook. It’s a third party. This will be SUPER exciting to some people and boring to others, until you need it; then everyone will love it.
It’s called Pipe and it’s file sharing. Why is that cool? I’ll tell you all about. How big of a file can you send over email? 100MB typically. How big of a file can you send on Pipe? 1GB. That’s 10x the size.
You don’t need software. It doesn’t send over Facebook. It just uses Facebook. So if I want to send a file to Matt I just put it in the Pipe to Matt using the FB interface and off it goes. He gets a notification and pulls it out. Done.
What if he’s not online? Then I get a notification and Pipe asks me if I want to put the file in a content locker for him to grab whenever he’s around.
How does this differ from DropBox, Google Drive or Copy? Ease of use. I have all 3 of those services that I use just a little differently and my digital life wouldn’t be the same without them.
Here is a great example of life before pipe. I wanted to get a certain set of workout videos. A friend burned them to DVD and put them in the mail. USPS MAIL and almost a week later I got them.
Someone else wanted them from me. I could have burned them again, but I have no idea where my blank DVDs are and going to the post office is a lot of work. So I decided to use DropBox. Shit. I have about 4GB available so they won’t fit. Now what? Let’s use Copy. Here was the process. I had to drag each 800MB file into my Copy enabled folder. But I couldn’t move them, I had to copy them - you’ll see why soon. Then I had to wait HOURS for them to sync with the cloud. I realized that the person I was sending them to was someone I interact with on Facebook only. So I messaged her there to get her personal email address. Then I shared the new Copy folder with her email address. She’s not a copy user so it was less direct. Then she got an email invite from me, clicked the link and was brought to a web interface to take the files. They are also still sitting in Copy’s cloud eating into my 37GB of total space. If she doesn’t move them out or copy and then delete them, they’ll sit there forever. So I need to keep up with her and make sure she has the content where she needs it and then I can delete them.
That was the problem with the move. If I moved them in and she moved them out, then I no longer have them. So they are on my computer in their original spot, on my computer in the Copy folder and synced to my account in Copy’s cloud.
With Pipe I would have sent her each of the 800mb files by typing in her name on Facebook and once she received them, we would have been done. It’s really that simple.
The only caveat is that the content locker only holds 100MB. So if I send you a file and you’re not there so it goes into a locker waiting for you to return, it can’t be more than 100MB. That’s because there’s no telling when you’ll pick it up and they can’t have you sending gigs and gigs and have them sit on their side until you get around to picking them up. I understand that. Did I mention this service is FREE?
When you tell someone to email you, how often do you mean “Facebook message me?” This is another service that simplifies life without leaving Facebook and lets us interact with the largets digitally collocated group of people we know and it costs us no money, no software installs, no private information and no extra time. And the whole thing resembles the pipes in Super Mario Bros. so that just makes it fun.
So that’s why I’d call it game changer and I was so excited about it yesterday.