Launched in November 2010, Path has over 1 Million users. It is being touted as the “Private Facebook Alternative”. So today, I installed the Path app on my iPad. Being that it was built for iPhone, the resolution is small, as with all “built for iPhone first” apps, but I was still able to set it up, and get my social networks connected rather quickly.
At first glance, it reminded me of Facebook.
- Cover Photo
- Profile Timeline (including “Asleep” and “Awake”)
- Location Check-Ins
But it seems Path succeeds in several key areas that Facebook is failing – Privacy, Speed, Double-Posting and Emotion.
Because Path is limited to Mobile Application viewing, currently only those with iPhone or Android with the Path Application installed can view Path. And only those you accept as friends can view your Path. Your “Activity” shows you not only whats happening with your friends, but also who is viewing your page whether – they’re a friend or not. Granted, because they’re not a friend, they’re only able to view your cover photo, but at least you know who tried. Hell, maybe they saw your cover photo and didn’t want to send you a friend request, but at least you know! Ha!
The designers and engineers at Path have dreamed up and realized the Smart Journal–a journal that’s with you everywhere you go, posts entries without your effort, combines photo, video, music, people, places, and text, and most importantly, includes your loved ones. Path upholds the expectations for privacy of both the mobile phone and the journal with its limited, intimate, more personal network.
Path is fast. Much like Twitter, you’re able to share your thoughts, photos, and check-ins in record time. It can easily be argued that the amount of friends one has on Facebook can cause the Facebook Application to load slowly. But the number of Facebook users logged into Facebook via mobile and/or web must be accounted for. Path is currently smaller and private, so Path doesn’t have that issue.
I created my Twitter account in 2007…about 5 months before I created my Facebook account. And the thing I hated the most was that I could not post from Facebook to Twitter. With most Social Applications, you can post from Twitter to Facebook, but posting from Facebook to Twitter required another 3rd Party Account somewhere that would sync at a specified interval. It was never instantaneous. Path gives you a “per post” option to share with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare. With every post, you make the decision of which social network you’d like to share with. Imagine that.
Facebook is currently limited to “Like” and the ability to “Unlike” the things you “Like”. But Path gives you Happy, Wink, Sad, Surprised, and Love emoticons that you can select and unselect.
Having already been around one (1) year, I’m not sure how long Path will last, but it seems like a viable option for those who are interested in sharing their everyday lives with their family and friends, without being concerned about who else has the ability to view that activity.
- Filtered Photos. Path ripped Instagram ‘a new one’ when they added photo filters. In fact, I think the people at Instagram are concerned. But as with most iPhone Camera Filter apps, if you want more filters, you’ll need to cough up the $.99 to do so.
- Limited Photo Albums. Sometimes one (1) photo isn’t enough, but no more than 3 – 5 should be sufficient. I think more than 5 photos would cut down on the speed that makes Path great.
- Shazam Listening.
- IntoNow Watching. Path already has selected “Listening”, but if they had “Watching”, that’d be cool. Further, if they had the Yahoo! IntoNow power of hearing what you’re watching on TV, that’s be even more awesome.
I’m sure I’ll have a few more suggestions, but Path just released an update, so who knows what they’ve got for me to explore today.
Cost? Oh Yeah. It’s Free
Yep. But it’s only been a year. They’ll need funds coming from somewhere, and those photo filter purchases are going to slow down eventually.
Welcome to the mobile era, welcome to Path.