Is less more? One to watch: Path

Posted on 17. Feb, 2012 by in Digital Marketing

There is a lot to be said for style over substance and although it’s not perfect, it is hard to flat the usability and detail that has gone into the app Path. With their newest version launching at the end of last December (Path originally launched in November 2010) Path 2 was described as “emphasising beautiful photos, an intimate personal network of your loved ones and an uncompromising user experience above all else.”

Path sells itself (Free on iPhone & Android) as “The smart journal that helps you to share life with the ones you love”. Yes, it’s another app to /share/ your every move – but is it the same? Well for starters, apart from being beautiful to look at and use (even the small clock scrolls as you move up and down the feed), Path has several unique qualities that sets it apart from the likes of Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter:

Only 150 Friends
To some of us this may seem like a lot, but to others it’s a fairly small number. They started out with only allowing 50, but opened it up a bit more a few months ago. Remember “Share life with the ones you love.” Not your ex-girlfriend from School or someone you think you met once at a party, but aren’t really sure – Path lets you be selective. Once you hit 150, you have to start the cull.

Aggregation/multi-postingPath Status Update
Path allows you to post to your other platforms. If there is one thing I love, its aggregation. This  app is almost of the opposite of aggregation – though it aggregates for you what your followers are up to – it allows you to check in – and it checks you into Foursquare; you post a message, you can tweet it as well. Same as for Facebook and Tumblr.

It currently gives you the option of:

  • Taking a picture (it provides Instagram style filters – you can buy additional ones for a small cost
  • Share a video
  • Tag people you are with
  • Check in
  • Share what song you are listening to
  • Post a normal status update

And the feature that many love, and probably didn’t think they would care about: Let’s you say when you go to sleep and then when you wake up. Leaving you with a happy chirpy update about your day and provides you with the current temperature and how many hours you slept.

Who knew how addicting it was to get a glimpse of other peoples sleep patterns!

What is Path missing?
There are still a few bugs here and there, and it can be a bit glitchy when you try to streamline your accounts, but it gets there in the end.

The ability to find contacts is quite lacking. You can only find friends who are on your Facebook or who are already connected to someone else. When trying to add a friend by email, message or SMS – the link sends you to download the app – which you most likely already have at this stage.

Your Path

An exciting next step will also be the integration of Get Glue – allowing you to share more than what song you are listening to, but what movie or TV show you are watching, book you are reading or activity you are thinking about doing. I find it an almost over obvious pairing – hopefully they’re working on it soon.

One issue feature a few people don’t like is the setting that allows path to note your location whenever it feels like it, showing your journey via the your path – this is an optional setting and it’s key to remember, the only people that see your path are those you allow in.
“We upload the address book to our servers in order to help the user find and connect to their friends and family on Path quickly and efficiently as well as to notify them when friends and family join Path. Nothing more.” One issue with Path is that your entire address book -full names, numbers and email address are uploaded to the server which many people have issues with. You can read Path’s response here.

Lastly, and what can be the death of so many apps, there are a lack of users. While I want to share my thoughts through path and can post them to Twitter, I want information to read as well. Currently I still need to go to Twitter, even if to only read tweets from about 30 key people – however if I’m already there, I’ll stay there to share a message, rather than switch apps. So no cross posting backwards yet – but we shall see.

What features would you like to see added to Path ?

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