Does Path Have What it Takes?

Social media startups come and go.  Many new platforms simply don’t have the ability attract a large enough user base, and that’s a problem.  The issue with using a new social media platform is that they are rarely beneficial unless your friends are using it, too.  Even the ones that seem to have an interesting twist all too often fail to compete with the likes of Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Path, on the other hand, seems to have some staying power.

Launched in November of 2010, the service has already grown to over 1 million users.  That’s pretty incredible, considering the fact that it’s only a mobile based platform and doesn’t contain the word “Google”.

So what makes Path so special?  A lot of startups with similar trendy names and logos are sputtering a year after their launch date.

For starters, Path solved a social media problem for many users.  There are times when you want to update your status, but you really only want a few people to see it (you know, like the good old days when Facebook was just starting out).  It’s great that our relatives and coworkers follow us, but it can cause uncomfortable situations or watered down posts.

Path also took a cue from Twitter’s text limitation and only allows you to share with 150 people.  According to Path’s website they “are inspired by Professor Robin Dunbar from Oxford University, whose research delves deeply into the number of trusted relationships humans can maintain throughout life. [People] tend to have 5 best friends, 15 good friends, 50 close friends and family, and 150 total friends.”

But, Facebook took notice of Path’s problem solver and now allows you to post a status update that is only visible to certain people.  So, how are they still viable now that Facebook has adopted their main selling point?

Sure, it’s got cool features like the fact that it learns what you like to post and can begin doing it automatically.  But, simply put, it’s the design and ease of use.  Path recently updated their user interface, and it’s gorgeous.

So, if you haven’t given Path a chance yet, you might want to check it out.  All of the frustrations that come with the Facebook and Twitter apps will be long forgotten when you begin using this great service that puts the mobile experience first.

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