Bittorrent hosting service Vipeers is scheduled to launch an upgrade this Thursday that will offer users the option to only share files with their friends. Users will be able to compile a list of friends and subsequently chose the access rights for each file they upload to the Vipeers servers.

Vipeers started as a free Bittorrent file hosting service last November. The service has since started a cooperation with Mininova that has resulted in a substantial increase in users. Louis Choquel from the Paris-based start-up ZSlide that runs Vipeers told me in a phone conversation last week that he sees these private sharing features as an important step towards monetizing Vipeers. In his own words:

"I think privacy and trust are becoming important today. People are afraid of Big Brother making some surveillance in what they share. They want to have a secure way of sharing with their friends."

Vipeers recently introduced a premium membership level that offers more bandwidth and the ability to share larger files. Future iterations of the premium service may include more advanced privacy features. Friends will for example be groupable, and you'll be able to define which files you want to share with each group.

For now, users will have to make friends by inviting the manually to join the Vipeers universe, but Choquel told me that you'll eventually also be able to import friends from Facebook or GMail through OAuth and similar technologies.

Check out some first screenshots of the new features below:

screenshot of vipeers private file sharing

An account overview.

screenshot of vipeers private file sharing

Uploading a file.

screenshot of vipeers private file sharing

Your friends list.

Tags: , , ,