You 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 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?
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”.
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.
Path offers filters for taking pictures, just like Instagram does. Cool pictures + beautiful interface = Shiny.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
Also, if you want to share your thoughts about Path and how it plays a role for you, use the comment section.