Hundreds Flock to Download Wirehog
By ZACHARY M. SEWARD
Crimson Staff Writer
Published on Monday, November 15, 2004
Facebook Creator To Debut Wirehog
Wirehog, a new breed of file-sharing program spawned by the creator of
thefacebook.com, made its official debut on the Harvard and Stanford
campuses yesterday with hundreds of students signing up to use the service.
The program, which is integrated with the popular social networking
website, facilitates the transfer of files between digital “friends” who
can share anything from documents and photos to music and movies. More
than 1,200 students on both coasts had downloaded Wirehog by 7:45 p.m.,
co-creator Mark E. Zuckerberg ’06-’07 said last night.
Preliminary data indicated the release had gone smoothly, Zuckerberg
said. But at Harvard, some students reported trouble selecting files to
share, while others had difficulty adjusting to the Wirehog interface,
which is substantially more complex than thefacebook.com.
With the release of Wirehog—for both Mac and PC—Zuckerberg is betting on
the appeal of a uniquely personal approach to file-sharing.
Unlike popular programs such as Kazaa and Morpheus, which allow users to
search and download among a worldwide network of computers, Wirehog only
allows the exchange of files between two acquaintances in a fashion more
akin to the file-transfer feature on many instant messaging programs.
That approach could appeal to students looking for their friends’
favorite music or photo albums, but it also requires longer download
times than more traditional file-sharing programs.
Zuckerberg said he did not have information on the level of traffic
between users operating Wirehog yesterday, but he said roughly
two-thirds of users had made at least one file available to share with
Zuckerberg, who created Wirehog along with Andrew K. McCollum ’06-’07
and Adam D’Angelo, a junior at CalTech, said the program’s future
release schedule was still tentative.
“Once we get a good taste of how it’s scaling—the numbers of users we
can support per server, for example—then we’ll open it up to a broader
release,” Zuckerberg said.
As students began downloading the program yesterday, speculation arose
as to the identity of the “secret weapon” cited as a collaborator on the
Wirehog website, www.wirehog.com.
Some surmised the anonymous contributor was Napster co-founder Shawn
Parker, but Zuckerberg said those rumors were false.
“It’s somewhat a joke,” Zuckerberg said. “It’s not like an important guy.”
—Staff writer Zachary M. Seward can be reached at [log in to unmask]