My initial thoughts on Path
I’ve just opened a Path account after seeing it featured on the BBC’s Click this weekend. For those who haven’t heard of it, Path is basically the ability to log / record your ‘path’ through life with quick updates and photos. So it’s really designed for the ‘I’m at Starbucks with Joe and here’s a quick pic’ type stuff – so it rolls in Twitter and Foursquare alongside the increasing mobile use of Facebook check-ins and shorter status updates.
My initial thoughts are good but I do think it is basically an improved interface / layer to sit on top of your existing networks. I say this becasue it basically adds a layer of templates for quicker Twitter and Facebook updates. I remember a time when mobile phones (particularly Nokias) came with a set of templated messages with statements devoid of all emotion like ‘I am late’ ‘Happy Birthday’ or my personal favourite ‘I’ve done something really bad to a close personal friend, can I confide in you?’ I did use them on a couple of occasions and generally they were pretty useful if you didn’t have the time to fire a unique message off.
In short, Path strikes me as doing much the same but for social interaction – giving you templates which allow you to quickly make a statement / update without necessarily having to think about it. So for example we have the ‘I am asleep’ ‘I am awake’ option which for me will replace my no doubt infuriating ‘Morning all’ ‘Evening all’ tweets. In addition you have the ability to add thoughts and pictures easily and of course then seed this content out on to multiple networks (Twitter being the predominant one for me). On top of this you have a simply gorgeous UI on the iPhone app, meaning it works seamlessly in the palm and could almost have been designed by Apple themselves.
So all in all I don’t think it will necessarily take off as a bespoke social network itself (do we have room for anymore?) given the only thing it really adds in terms of unique content creation is some photo filters – but I do think it will be useful for people like me who would like to tweet or update their Facebook status more regularly with (yes I admit it) a ‘lower level’ of interaction. Of course that begs the question of when Twitter will buy it or just replicate it….
If you’re on Path feel free to add / follow me.