BTSP: BitTorrent Social Protocol

Overview

BTSP is an application-level protocol for distributed, peer-to-peer social networking where users can share social content with other users over BitTorrent (BT). BTSP defines a Client for users to share content with other users and view content from other users, and a Directory Service for users to connect with each other. A client may connect to any number of services, and a service may support any number of clients.

Specification

The client should allow users to add and store content, and to share with other users with BitTorrent. A user may use more than one client, in which case content added to one client should be available to the others. Clients should allow users to publish a tracker URL to a Directory Service, where they may be located by other users, to retrieve and view content from other users using the tracker URL published by other clients from a service. For the purposes of this document, a user’s “profile” refers to the user’s tracker URL as published by a service, and a “friend” is another user with access to a user’s profile. A client may allow users to publish to more than one Service, and may allow users to expose different content to different Services.

Privacy

A client may allow users to expose different content to different services. A service may allow users to restrict access to their profile to specific users. Each service is responsible for providing a policy for managing access to profiles.

Optional Services

Directory Services may provide additional services to users not defined by the protocol. For example, services may provide direct messaging between users, event invitations, backup services, email integration, and more.