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Path 2.0 is Here for Android and iPhone, but Can It Take on Facebook?

Posted on the 20 December 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost

Path 2.0 is here for Android and iPhone, but can it take on Facebook?

Writing a journal: obsolete? Photo credit: Kiwanja, http://flic.kr/p/qqLZr

Hot new iPhone and Android app on the block Path describes itself as “the smart journal that helps you share life with the ones you love”. So far, so cute. But some commentators have gone even further, suggesting the iPhone and Android app may just be the future of social networking.

Strictly speaking, Path isn’t brand new: the app launched last year to much fanfare with a photo-sharing focus and a strict limit on the number of contacts users could have. But after an initial flurry of interest, and having declined a buy-out from Google, Path cooled off. Now, however, Path is back, and the word on the web is that it is bigger and better than before. Here’s what you need to know.

What’s new? Path has changed from “photo-sharing to everything sharing”, reported Alexia Tsotsis at TechCrunch, praising the “emphasis on simplicity”. Tsotsis wrote that Path users can now share a wide variety of content beyond photos, such as videos, messages, music and whether you’re asleep or awake. Location also plays a part: “In a novel feature for the life-sharing apps, the new Path will also automatically post your location (“Arrived”) every time you travel a distance far enough to be reached by plane,” said Tsotsis.

The new and improved Path is proving a hit with consumers: the number of daily users has jumped from 10,000 to 300,000 in two and a half weeks, according to Alexia Tsotsis at TechCrunch.

Close friends. Becca Caddy reported for ShinyShiny that Path has maintained its original emphasis on sharing with close contacts only: “Most of the social networks we use at the moment are obsessed with making us share everything with everyone, but Path is different in that it wants you to only share important things with a select few.” However, for those who still want to broadcast their thoughts to the world, Caddy pointed out that you can share content on other networks using the app. Caddy flagged up the fact that interaction on Path is more varied than on Facebook: “You don’t just comment and like either, there are a few emotions, like smile, gasp and frown to play around with.”

All about the story. According to Rafe Needleman at CNET, Path has a staff novelist so the app can include story-telling elements from the data you share: “Sleep for two hours and it might say you, ‘need coffee.’ Snooze for ten and it could say, ‘Ready to attack the day!’”

Well-designed. “It’s one of the most seamless, user-friendly, and stunning designs we’ve seen from a fringe social site,” wrote Molly McHugh at Digital Trends. McHugh praised the “dedication to an individual’s life story as told by rich, multimedia design”, and said that although any social networking tool would struggle to compete with the might of Facebook, “at the very least Path has some weapons worth checking out”.

 


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