What Is It?
Now in its second version, Path embodies the ultimate social media tool that combines your Twitter updates, Facebook photostream, Foursquare checkins, and Spotify playlists. Path, originating in November of 2010, serves a canvas for the modern “smart journal.” It allows you to share photos and videos, where you are, whom you’re with, what you’re listening to, when you go to sleep and wake up, and any other thoughts you may have with an intimate network.
How Is It Social?
Like other social networks, friends can interact with content by responding with comments. This will start conversations on any post. Users can also pick from a list of five emoticons to quickly express how they feel about what has been posted.
Privacy You Can Believe
A big concern many users have with networks such as Myspace, Twitter, and Facebook is how unreliable the privacy settings are. If you sign up for an account with these platforms, and relied on the manufacturer settings, most of your content would be available for the world to see. On the other hand, Path’s default setting is private, so the only people who see your posts are those who you personally accept. Path has the ability to differentiate itself from other social networks, but the user has to be a part of this process.
The app is made with a 150-friend limit, so that your “friending” does not get out of hand. Path embodies quality of friends over quantity. This forces the user to meticulously narrow down who has access to your personal information. You have total control over who can see your Path, so choose wisely.
If you choose not to keep it as a private journal, you can connect it with other social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare.
Why Is 150 The Magic Number?
But what is the significance of the number 150? Interestingly enough, “It is considered the upper limit of the number of trusted relationships a person can have.” So many people want to add everyone they have ever met on a social network, but TechCrunch hypothesizes that you should not even come near that 150 limit. As your friend count goes up, your amount of sharing goes down.
Design of the Times
One of the big selling points of Path is that it is just easy to use and pretty to look at. The interface is beautifully designed, and presents the information in a way that makes it effortless to scroll through. Every user profile is unique because each user picks a cover photo and a personal picture. Also, adding anything to your Path takes no time at all. You just press on the plus sign and all your posting options fan out, making it simple to add content.
Is That Instagram?
At first glance, the photo sharing part of Path looks oddly similar to another app called Instagram. Path takes on this same concept with 7 image-altering filters, so that you can spruce up any old boring picture to make it look professional. While Path and Instagram provide a different selection of filters, Path steps it up a notch to offer this service for videos too. You can shoot up 45 seconds of video with a filter, and share them immediately to your stream.
The Ultimate Creeper Alert
Every day, many people fall victim to scams on Facebook that claim to find out who is viewing your profile. Although there is not yet a way to find out this information on Facebook, Path makes it easy to see who is “creeping” on you. After every post you can see which friends have viewed it. Now Path may not be the place to continuously monitor your ex-boyfriend, but it is handy to know exactly who your audience is for each post.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
With a design and idea like Path, everything seems to be going well, but if that is so then why is not yet the new Facebook?
- I think the main problem is that people are not using it. The whole point of Path is to add friends and start sharing, but if none of your friends are using the app, you have nobody to share your path with.
- One drawback I found through using the app is it is easy to forget to update it. Specifically, you can tell your Path when you are going to sleep and when you wake up, so that you can sign off from the social media world for the night. The problem with this is that I continually forget to update when I wake up, and then my Path posts that I slept for an unreasonable amount of time.
- To keep your Path personal, you have to face the uncomfortable situation of telling people whom you are connected with on other social media platforms that you cannot be Path friends. Because there are many people you don’t want to know intimate details of your life, such as coworkers or mere acquaintances, you must take on the “socially awkward experience of rejecting requests.”
So What’s The Point?
Many users would ask: Well we already have Facebook and Twitter, so why should I user Path too? Vice president of path elaborates on this point by saying, “Because Path is a smaller network that’s built for the people you love — the closest friends and family in your life — people are willing to share more intimate content as a result of that,” At this level of exclusiveness, all your friends care about what you are saying. People don’t have to be afraid of revealing their location, or when they are asleep because it is only going out to a limited, trusted audience. Because this app is free for iPhone and Android users why not try it out and discover your Path!