The mobile messaging app space is crowded, to say the least. But developers are still trying to figure out how best to make a communication app that is both accessible to the mainstream and truly secure.
BitTorrent has been playing around with messaging apps for a while now. Last September it released a test version of Bleep and has since been working with the feedback. Now, the company believes it has crafted a solid messaging product, and has made it available for both iOS and Android (as well as desktop versions for both Mac and Windows).
Bleep is all about user privacy. While other apps maintain that data transmitted through their service is safe because of end-to-end encryption, the data is still stored on the apps’ clouds (the back-end computer servers that power an Internet service). Bleep doesn’t have a cloud. This means that when you send a message from Bleep it goes directly to the recipient and BitTorrent has absolutely no way of accessing any of that data.
BitTorrent’s Fareed Fadaie explained, “there is no central repository.” This means, “no honeypot for hackers [and] no passwords to even hack.”
It works by using BitTorrent’s existing P2P network. There are over 170 million monthly active users who turn to BitTorrent to share files. This means that Fadaie and his team were able to use this stable network of hundreds of millions of people to create a decentralized way to directly send messages between users.
Fadaie added that building this app without a cloud was a “damn difficult problem to solve.”
And this cloud-less feature may be a more attractive mobile messaging choice for privacy enthusiasts. While Apple’s iMessage uses end-to-end encryption — which makes it markedly more secure than Google’s Hangouts — Apple still sends these encrypted messages to a cloud. This means it could theoretically access the data.
Bleep instead stores all the messages a user sends on a user’s device. And for those hoping to have an even more secure option, they can choose the “whisper” option which deletes messages after they are read.
Whether the app piques the interest of users remains to be seen. But BitTorrent is confident that this new way of sending data is the start of something big.
Bleep is available on both Google Play and the App Store.