December 27, 2011
/ by Sukhraj Beasla
When Path first launched, I was confused by what they were trying to accomplish and the purpose of their app. Path 1.0 was an app that allowed you to share photos with 50 of your closest friends. You couldn’t share them on Facebook, just within the app and only to 50 friends. However, most users just text or email any private photos they want to share, they don’t use an app so that idea didn’t catch on quite as planned. Path didn’t give up though, they added Facebook sharing and people began wondering why the “private network” was suddenly going social.
With Path 2.0, the team of developers has finally realized that the people who embrace social media are voyeurs and rarely keep their lives private and if they do, they aren’t going to use an app to do so. The latest version of Path is still somewhat limited to 150 friends but you can expand your reach by sharing your Path activities on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or Foursquare. The app now allows you to chronicle your daily life beyond photos. Within the app, you can share videos, music (though it has a fairly limited selection), photos (with an Instagram-like filter), daily thoughts, your location (this can be pushed out to Foursquare), and when you go to sleep/wake up.
Will it be the Facebook killer? Probably not. However it is a lot more intimate. Path believes that “we tend to have 5 best friends, 15 good friends, 50 close friends and family, and 150 total friends.” They built Path 2.0 with that philosophy in mind so your most intimate moments will still live on the app for your 150 friends to know about but anything else can be shared to your social networks.
Now that Path has gone social I see great potential for it taking off. Available on iPhone and Android, users can interact with your Path activities if they log in and leave you public comments or respond silently with the emotion feature (similar to the Facebook “like” but with emoticons). Users can also purchase additional filters to optimize their photos. (Hello Instagram!) The app has a handful to choose from but upgrades cost 99 cents. As much as I love Path and their redesign, I’ve noticed you can’t edit your thoughts after you post them, the music selection is limited (anything with explicit language or a top 40 track isn’t in the library), and Android users can’t share their Paths on Twitter. Charging users for a filter might not be very successful because users can simply import their photos into Instagram first before they upload to Path. If Path had thought of this first, they might be a competitor in this space, but since Instagram is free I don’t see the need to pay for a filter.
Are you on Path 2.0? What do you think of their redesign? If not, would you consider using it now as a social network/smart phone diary?
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