BitTorrent's peer-to-peer downloading system is widely used, but plenty of people have been confused or put off by the need to download desktop software for torrents. A new system announced today, though, may open up the protocol for social media, streaming video, or other uses. Torque is a JavaScript interface for a custom torrent client that makes it easier for web developers to use BitTorrent in browser extensions. Currently in alpha, it's been showcased in a number of current and upcoming tools, which do things like turn torrent files into normal web downloads or integrate them into social networks.

Despite being technically simply a means of distributed file transfer, BitTorrent has become almost synonymous with piracy, to the point where Dropbox banned an app that allowed users to download BitTorrent files directly to the service. Torque, however, could make the system more accessible and thus less threatening. Developers can find more information on GitHub.