The copyright giants (RIAA, MPAA, etc) love to paint Bittorrent and other P2P applications as a giant evil on the Internet. Used widely for piracy and file sharing, they would like nothing more to eliminate it from the face of the planet.
Unfortunately for them, BitTorrent lately has been making more and more in-roads into legitimate businesses. First it was brought in to share legal CD images of things like the Linux and BSD operating systems. Then companies and individuals that wanted to share free videos found it ideal for sharing the data without having to overload their servers. When World of Warcraft was released, Blizzard used it as a patching engine for the game to allow people to update and get back in the game faster, and without having to buy more bandwidth and patch servers.
Now it seems Twitter and Facebook have both found the benefits of BitTorrent as well.
Say what you like about BitTorrent and the culture of piratical drugged-up junkies that it fuels, but the fact is: big businesses keep finding excellent, legitimate uses for torrents. Today, Facebook came out and admitted that BitTorrent powers the transfer of new code between each and every one of its servers.
You wouldn’t have thought it troublesome — source code is fairly lightweight after all — but when you consider that Facebook has tens of thousands of servers… well, you can begin to imagine the logistical nightmare of rolling out code changes on a regular basis. With BitTorrent, it takes a matter of minutes to update every single Facebook Web server with new software — awesome!
As TorrentFreak points out, Facebook isn’t the only large company that uses BitTorrent — so does Twitter! BitTorrent isn’t relegated to internal uses, though: Blizzard uses it to distribute huge patches to its 12 million World of Warcraft subscribers!