Path! Path! Path!
November 15, 2010 3 Comments
It’s finally here! After months and months of waiting and wondering and wishing Path would come out of “stealth,” it’s finally here!
But what exactly is it? And do I want it? Or need it?
First off, what is Path? According Gizmodo, Path is “a new social network app for the iPhone that lets you share what’s going on in your life with friends and family. It’s kinda like Twitter or Instagram, but it’s kinda not.”
So what does that really mean? Path addresses a key problem with most social networks – they are too social. Go take a look at your Facebook page. How many friends do you have? Probably at least a couple hundred. And of those hundred aren’t there just a few that you don’t really know? That guy who had one class with you? The girlfriend of a guy you used to work with? The girl who used to work at a company you used to do business with. 3 years ago.
Why are you sharing your life with these people? What do you get out of it? What do they? And do you really care about what they are up to?
That is what Path is trying to accomplish. It’s a new way to communicate, via photos, with your 50 closest friends. No 140 character limits, in fact, no characters at all. Just photos. And you can provide some basic detail like: Who, where and what is going on in the photo. And those photos go into a stream and everything is geo-tagged.
And because a picture speaks one thousand words, a video (with really catchy music: “Something Good Can Work” by Two Door Cinema Club) must be worth one million words:
Okay, enough talking about WHAT Path is.
Do I like it?
So far it seems…interesting. The interface is very smooth. I like not always having to come up with something witty to write (“but Ezra” you say “don’t you just spout witticisms every time you start typing?”). I like the idea of a curated experience for only a select group of people. I like seeing what my friends are up to without having to click-through to tinyurls and TwitPics.
What don’t I like?
Right now I am suffering from a bit of a network effect, as I am on the early adopter side of the technology adoption life cycle:
This means that not a lot of my friends are using Path yet, so my stream is somewhat bare. That will change as more of them start Pathing (a new verb that I hope catches on). However, the most likely candidates for using Path are a lot of the same people I communicate with on Twitter. And I don’t see myself abandoning Twitter anytime soon. The other thing I am not loving about Path right out of the gate is that whatever it’s doing, it’s kicking the crap out of my iPhone’s battery. Granted I’m on a 3Gs, and it’s using my GPS to tag photos, but still, it’s sucking down the juice like Roger Clemens at the World Series.
The verdict? Wait and see. I’ll keep playing with Path and encouraging my friends to try it for themselves, but I am not totally sold yet.