I’ve had a chance to talk to AllPeers founders Cedric Maloux and Matthew Gertner. This company is set to take the world by storm. In my opinon this single firefox extension will massively increase the attractiveness of that already popular browser, drawing more millions away from embattled Internet Explorer.
AllPeers is a simple, persistent buddy list in the browser. Initially, interaction with those buddies will be limited to discovering and sharing files – If you choose to, you can share any file on your network with one or more of your friends. They will be able to see what files you choose to share (even getting an RSS feed of new files you include), and with a single click download it to their own hard drive.
AllPeers will work even when the sharer is offline – AllPeers is a bittorent client, and will allow files to be pulled from multiple sources. When downloading, the file may be grabbed partially or fully from others you have shared it with (or who shared it with you). So a user just clicks on a file, and waits for it to eventually download. Screen shots can be viewed here.
With AllPeers, I can share photos and home movies with my parents, songs (and anything else) with friends, and also access the files that they choose to share.
In the future, AllPeers will also have folders to allow public sharing (probably with restrictions to control copyright violations). I also assume they will build chat and VOIP functionality into the application as well.
AllPeers will not be advertising funded. There are hints that the business model may eventually be centered on monetization of paid content, but that will be down the road. For now, they are focused on launching with the basic shared-folder approach. And that is fine with me – I’ll be hooked from the second I can get my hands on it.
AllPeers has seven employees, is based in Prague and is a UK company. They are self and angel funded to date. If you’d like to sign up for the beta, enter your email here. An initial batch of beta testers should get their hands on it later this month.