A look at Bleep and what peer-to-peer messaging bodes for the future

bleep what it means for the future
Credit: BitTorrent

Why Bleep and its technology will change user expectations for messaging apps

A famous messenger

Bleep, the anonymous messenger app created by BitTorrent made headlines when it announced -- after a year of testing -- it was ready for the public.  So what makes Bleep so special?  Bleep is the only messenger that uses an encrypted decentralized Session Initiation Protocol. Unlike most end-to-end encryption apps, BitTorrent itself does not get any of your contact or personal data due to its decentralized technology.  This is important -- it means BitTorrent can't resell personal information to advertisers or keep "deleted" snapshots on a server -- because there isn't a central Bleep server. Bleep should also be more secure and harder to track than most messenger apps.

A REAL game changer

Although the term "game changing" is used far too often in the world of technology to describe gadgets of all types, especially those with incremental improvements at best, Bleep truly is game changing. This is not only because of its technology, but, more importantly, its decentralized nature. It is a messenger without a central entity hoarding and packing user data for resale to the highest bidder.

This concept of private, unmonitored, and decentralized communication is already becoming an important consideration for users. Users became alarmed (and informed) after Snowden's leaks revealed the gargantuan scope of government surveillance and violations of privacy. I predict the issue of privacy rights will become ever more important as news surfaces about the EU's investigation into the alleged practices of an unnamed, large Internet company. This same company in the past has been caught lying about its complicity with the NSA, and demonstrated a blatant disregard for users' privacy.  

Suggestions for improvements

Back to Bleep. I've tried the Windows desktop version of Bleep, as well as the versions for Android and the iPad. For a messenger app, it was responsive with little lag. I had feared the opposite because of its peer-to-peer tech, but as it turns out my fears were unfounded.

The biggest complaint I have with Bleep is with the Add New Device screen:

Bleep add new device screen.

This doesn't appear to work, as I couldn't find the "I have an account" menu option anywhere, and based on reading BitTorrent's Bleep forums others can't find it either. I don't know if the QR code would work for iOS because I also couldn't find a similar feature on the iPad version of Bleep.

Bottom line

Bleep is an exciting technology. The current version is stable, but it needs polishing and bug fixes, and I recommend installing it even if you don’t plan on using it much -- so you will know what to expect from most instant messaging apps of the future.

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