Path: What You Need To Know About It And How It Plays A Role In Your Life

PathYou probably heard something about Path in the last month or so but the truth is, the social network has been getting love from early adopters and media since its launch over a year ago.

So how come you hear about it now? What do you need to know about Path? How does it play a role in your life? And very important, what not to do with it…

These are some of the things we’ll talk about today here, hopefully you’ll end up with a clear picture.

And, just so you don’t miss it, there is a poll at the end of the post, make sure you participate!

Why are you hearing so much about Path lately?

A couple of things have been going on for the social network, including:

A Shiny New Redesign

There’s no argument about this, Path was already one of the most beautiful mobile apps in the market but it just got better. Look at these screenshots:

Path screenshots

New Features

Path launched its new version last month with a number of additions not just in the design but in its functionally giving the app a strong focus in what they call “smart journaling”.

Besides photos and videos, you can now share your thoughts, the music you’re listening to, where you are, who you’re with and when you start and finish your day. In other words, a digital journal on your mobile device.

Love from media

All this has resulted in some pretty wide media coverage including major venues such as USA Today. Publications like Business Insider have actually included it in the best apps of 2011 arena.

Where is Facebook’s Timeline standing in all this?

Facebook Timeline

After Facebook announced its purchase of Gowalla to bring in the talent and kill the app, many started rumoring that the next in the list was Path. Think about it, it makes total sense looking at Facebook’s Timeline.

I even saw a couple of people commenting on this issue and saying that they will no longer use the app because it will soon be eaten by Facebook. Let’s see what happens.

What You Should Know About Path

Let’s now move on to the main things you need to know about the app, just to give you a kick start.

It’s a timeline

Path had the timeline concept already in place, it’s now been called “smart journal” and has had more features added but the important thing here is that you do get your content in a chronological order and the posts you create and share are called “Moments”.

Accessibility

The app is not accessible from your browser. The only way you can access Path is through an iPhone or Android devices. This brings up an important point for me since the network is supposed to be a connection with your loved ones, my mother, who makes it in the list of loved ones, does not own any of these devices.

Instagram-like photos

Path offers filters for taking pictures, just like Instagram does. Cool pictures + beautiful interface = Shiny.

Limited connections

Path allows you to have a max of 150 connections, the concept is based on Robin Dunbar’s theory that says human beings can maintain a total of 150 trusted relationships between friends and family. I know what you’re thinking now, we’ll come back to that.

People Tagging

It is very easy to tag people into moments. With location-based apps like Foursquare you can add pictures to your check-ins, with Path you can add pictures and also tag people. Now you have a “Moment” that includes a post with location, an image and the people you shared that moment with.

Number of users

Path was launched in November 2010 and it’s now passing the 1 million mark. Is it in the race to become your

Social Sharing

The network is private but you also have the option to share your moments with the rest of the world if you want to. Path let’s you connect with Facebook, Twitter and send your check-ins to Foursquare.

Emotions

Conversations are very light, you can express your mood in regards to a post with simple emoticons that works similar to the famous “Like” button, in this case adding the possibility to add a feeling/emotion. Other types of communications include comments.

Privacy

If you are one of those people that are concerned about privacy in your social profile you’ll like this. Path is private by default, you have to let in the people you want to connect with and you only have 150 spots available. Facebook for example is open by default and you need to adjust your settings to make it private.

How does Path play a role in your life

The concept of Facebook was to connect with your network, the people that you really know, that’s the reason the connection has to be mutual. I think we can agree that ship has sailed in most of our cases.

In the case of Google+ and Twitter the networking is open, you don’t need the other end to connect to you.

Path brings back the closed network concept, the fact that it limits you in the number of connections makes you want to make them special, true connections with the people you care about and have an interest in your personal life. This is not a network to grow your digital footprint or promote your blog content and it’s certainly not the network to establish new relationships.

Is it for everyone? not at all, starting with its limited accessibility. For example, If a good part of your close network moves more on a Blackberry environment, they’re automatically out of the equation.

What do you think?

There is one more thing you most be thinking, “why would I have another social network?”, even if Facebook is not very pretty you can still manage to keep a true small network of offline relationships or you can filter the information you share.

Here is a little Poll I created to see what your thoughts regarding this topic. Participate!

[polldaddy poll=5753505]

Also, if you want to share your thoughts about Path and how it plays a role for you, use the comment section.

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  • http://freetraffictip.com Tinu

    It seems like a great concept, even conceptually beautiful. The problem is that, like you, the people I would share that intimately with barely use Facebook if at all, to connect. We share in person and don’t feel we need the extra layer. If we need to share, we go to Facebook or email each other on our phones.

    So it seems great, but it’s not solving a problem I have.

  • http://girlseeksplace.wordpress.com Brianna

    I like the concept, but I don’t like that it’s limited. I have more connections on Facebook and Twitter than Path would allow. The interface is well-designed, but I have a feeling it’s not just a pretty face.

  • http://www.socialmouths.com Francisco Rosales

    I agree with you Tinu, to share with my close circle I don’t even use Facebook.

  • http://www.socialmouths.com Francisco Rosales

    Yes, Path is meant to handle a closed network.

  • http://www.facebook.com/annieory Annie Ory

    So far, no other network has caught enough of my attention to participate fully. I still don’t completely understand Twitter, or why anyone likes it, or what it’s really for. I have an account, and, I never use it for anything. When my yoga studio opens I know I will need to change that and to put Tweeting into my daily schedule, so I’ll figure it out then, but it will be totally business, there is nothing there that draws me personally.
    If I were to do another social networking site, it would be something like this, something that is more private, though right now I don’t know that I feel drawn to anything like that. I’ve had my smart phone for 3 months and am still learning to use it effectively. Sometimes my boyfriend teaches me things it can do, but mostly I haven’t found that I spend much time interacting with people on it, though I understand, that’s what it’s for.
    Great post, great questions, thanks for making us think.

  • http://twitter.com/carlosllub Carlos LLuberes

    Hola Francisco,

    Q buen post! Till now I did not know about PATH, and it sure looks interesting. It appeals, at least to me, as it is a private, closed network; something that I cannot achieve with Facebook (a lot of people I don’t actually care about) or Twitter (different interests, one single account). 

  • http://prostarassociates.com/ Kenneth Northcutt

    Is there any PATH app available for android phones? I think this is interesting.

  • http://www.premiumjetset.com/ Victoria Escort

    What a interesting article offering a clever concept . If used correctly this could be very useful. I will be checking out path this week to see what i can achieve with it . Thanks for this highclass article

  • http://twitter.com/Ricardo_Lousada Ricardo Lousada

    They should open it at least to other plarforms like web acess and other mobile OS. 

  • http://just-ask-kim.com/ Kimberly Castleberry

    Path is a very interesting project. Their focus on the limited “inner circle” connections is a fascinating USP. Their move from 50 to 150 really indicates that they had to respond to pressure. I think that 150 is probably a good number, being Dunbar’s number and all. However, because people don’t tend to favor restriction, the overlay of their tools into Facebook I actually can see as being very feasible. For me, I already use another network, its called G+ … but it doesn’t mean I don’t send some things through Facebook just because that’s where my mother is at!
    Kim

  • Youri van Dijk

    I have had the app on my phone for quite I while now, but I’m not even sure if it’s there still… It looks awesome and has great functionalities, but for me apparently it has been too much trouble to really care for. I’ve never been somebody who kept a dairy or anything like that and without others dragging me into the platform I will probably not start to use it. 

  • http://www.shovan.org Shovan

    I have been using path extensively for the past two months. Its an amazing app. I can share what ever I like what ever I do with my close m8, unlike Facebook where we need to think twice before posting any thing. Another plus point of path is, I can post directly in Facebook , tumblr & twitter I also allows me check in foursquare.

  • http://www.watertrampolinesexpress.com/ Julissat

    the social network has been getting love from early adopters and media since its launch over a year ago.

  • http://www.carinsuranceavenue.com/ automobile insurance

    the social network has been getting love from early adopters and media since its launch over a year ago.

  • http://scamsupportomni-tech.com/ More

    I use path everyday.

  • http://www.unlockiphoneinstantly.com/ Dani

    So how come you hear about it now? What do you need to know about Path?
    How does it play a role in your life? And very important, what not to do
    with it…

  • http://www.merchantindustry.com/ merchant service provider

    The most beautiful mobile apps in the market but it just got better.

  • http://cabinetgraniteva.com/ Jazmine

    These are some of the things we’ll talk about today here, hopefully you’ll end up with a clear picture.

  • http://www.holdclick.com/ Skyencon

    These are some of the things we’ll talk about today here, hopefully you’ll end up with a clear picture.
     

  • Dany Caaz

    Basically, people want it to be bigger limit of sharing. Here’s an idea: how about you sell packages of extra 20 or 30 or 50 people each? See how much ypu can actuallyake out of this beauyiful app?

  • http://www.metropolitanjunk.ca/ Rachele

    These are some of the things we’ll talk about today here, hopefully you’ll end up with a clear picture.
     

  • FYVCIFUHBT LFVJUDAJVWTK

    So how come you hear about it now? What do you need to know about
    Path? How does it play a role in your life? And very important, what not
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  • Zofia Smithson

    So how come you hear about it now? What do you need to know about
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  • http://en-gb.facebook.com/michaelqtodd Michael Q Todd

    Checking it out Francisco. Thank you

  • Nikki

    Here’s my beef with Path: I signed up, and it emailed every single person on my contact list about it. I poked around, and decided to deactivate my account. Then, it TEXTED every single person in my address book. Not OK. I’m all about spreading a message virally, but when it’s spread like a Nicaraguan Craigslist scheme, not cool.

  • Breana

    How do I unlike a something on path?

  • Medelein

    It should be like a number 1 but awesomer.
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