BitTorrent's anonymous peer-to-peer messaging app Bleep is now available on iOS after almost a year of testing.
You don't need to sign up to use Bleep. Like the chat rooms of the olden Internet days, all you have to do is pick a screenname to get started. You can verify your email address and phone number with the app to help people discover and add you in the app, or you can share your Bleep key out to trusted friends. BitTorrent doesn't use the cloud or store your messages, photos, or data.
BitTorrent has been working on Bleep for quite some time, and has already built out a solid messaging app that includes free voice calling with end-to-end encryption. With iOS, the company is rolling out a new Snapchat-like feature, Whisper, which introduces disappearing messages to the already secure app. You can switch between ephemeral and standard messages as you see fit, even in the same thread if you want.
BitTorrent put some screenshot protections in place just in case your contacts don't understand the point of a disappearing message. If someone tries to screenshot your whispered message, they won't be able to capture your nickname--it's blurred out. If they want to see your nickname, tapping the eye icon will blur out the message and unblur the name, so the two can never be viewed simultaneously.
Why this matters: BitTorrent Bleep is entering a crowded field of messaging apps, but it's one of the few that doesn't collect metadata or store your information in a company cloud somewhere. In the post-Edward Snowden era, Bleep might be able to build a base of users who are tired of expecting a complete invasion of privacy from tech companies. Bleep is also available on PCs, Macs, and Android.