For the past 25 years, phage display technology has been an invaluable tool for studies of protein-protein interactions. However, the inherent biological, biochemical, and biophysical properties of filamentous bacteriophage, as well as the ease of its genetic manipulation, also make it an attractive platform outside the traditional phage display canon. This review will focus on the unique properties of the filamentous bacteriophage and highlight its diverse applications in current research. Particular emphases are placed on: (i) the advantages of the phage as a vaccine carrier, including its high immunogenicity, relative antigenic simplicity and ability to activate a range of immune responses, (ii) the phage's potential as a prophylactic and therapeutic agent for infectious and chronic diseases, (iii) the regularity of the virion major coat protein lattice, which enables a variety of bioconjugation and surface chemistry applications, particularly in nanomaterials, and (iv) the phage's large population sizes and fast generation times, which make it an excellent model system for directed protein evolution. Despite their ubiquity in the biosphere, metagenomics work is just beginning to explore the ecology of filamentous and non-filamentous phage, and their role in the evolution of bacterial populations. Thus, the filamentous phage represents a robust, inexpensive, and versatile microorganism whose bioengineering applications continue to expand in new directions, although its limitations in some spheres impose obstacles to its widespread adoption and use.