Monday, May 21, 2007
Tribler leverages the extensive reach of BitTorrent to build social communities. What that means is you can make friends with Tribler users who share similar downloading tastes with you. This is analogous to Last.fm's music-based friendship building. Each user can set up a profile in Tribler that other users can see, establishing a BitTorrent-based social network.
What's more, Tribler will recommend files for you to download based on a collaborative filtering algorithm. This is where the infamous "my TiVo thinks I'm gay" meme comes in. If another user has a file in his or her download history that's missing in yours, Tribler will assign a recommendation value that you can use to decide whether or not to download it yourself. The value depends on how similar that other user's downloading history is to yours.
Integration with YouTube and Liveleak also lets you search and watch videos from those sites. However, a glaring oversight is the lack of a download button for these videos.
Tribler is an interesting social experiment that may point the way for the current generation of BitTorrent clients. BitTorrent is P2P-based so users already organize into social networks. It just isn't so obvious, normally. Tribler simply leverages these connections and lets you decide what to do with them.