At a time when Facebook seems to keep adding apps, curating news feeds, and pushing users to connect with as many other users as possible, Path, the blossoming social-sharing app for iOS and Android, is doing just the opposite. It's trying to keep things small and simple.
While the idea of social networking on a smaller scale may seem strange, it makes a lot more sense once you get to know Path. With no brand pages, groups, event invitations, or Bejeweled requests to clutter its experience, this young social network is all about sharing personal moments with loved ones. That's it. That's why it limits the number of connections you can have to 150 (a number that Path believes is the average number of true friends a person has in life).
As with any other social network, getting started on Path means creating an account and populating a profile. Your name, e-mail address, and a photo will do, but you can also add your phone number and birthday. Like Google Plus and Facebook, Path gives you a slot for a cover photo, where you can upload something a little artsier than your standard head shot.
Once you're all set up, the first thing you should notice is Path's interface, elegantly designed and head and shoulders above that of Facebook's mobile app. It's easy to zip around and share things, and the entire package just looks and feels...better. Tiny details like the emotion icons and the time stamp that appears as you scroll through updates make it a pleasure to keep tabs on friends, rather than an exhausting task, as it sometimes can be with other social-networking programs. Overall, it's a pleasantly intuitive experience.
The biggest thing that sets Path apart from other networks is the nature of the updates that get shared. While Facebook walls can be filled with posts about any number of things ("Come to my party!" "Support this cause!" "Check out my new Web site!"), Path is more about letting your friends and family know what you're up to throughout the day. Thus, its sharing options are distinctly personal. You can share photos, who you're with, where you are, the music you're listening to (with the help of a built-in Shazam-like tool), or your thoughts (essentially, through a status update). There's even an option to let your Path friends know when you're sleeping.
Granted, you can always share whatever you want, but after using Path, I can say there's a noticeable skew toward sharing personal moments, as opposed to, say, news articles or viral videos. In fact, there isn't even an easy way to share hyperlinks, which can be both a relief and a pain.
By default, your posts only go to your friends who are on Path. But if you'd like, you can easily share anything simultaneously on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Foursquare. This makes the Path app an attractive first option whenever you have something you want to share.
As impressive as Path is, though, there are still areas where it could improve. For one, it's only available via mobile app. There is no Web-based interface where you can read and post updates. Second, the photo sharing is weak. Neither the iPhone nor the Android version offers cropping, zooming, or other editing features. Also, as of now, only the iPhone version can post videos, which is baffling.
At this point, it seems to me like the biggest obstacle new Path users face is getting friends onto the network. Still relatively new in the social-app space, Path can be a tough sell to longtime Facebook devotees.
Overall, if you're looking for a simple app to keep you in the loop with only your closest friends and family, Path is the answer. It's beautiful, powerful, and at the moment seems to be growing very quickly.
Path (iPhone | Android) is available as a free download from Google Play and from the App Store.
Path is a simple and beautiful space to capture and share everyday moments of your life with people who matter most to you. Every moment is treasured on Path: a selfie with your friends at a party, a daily check-in at your favorite coffee shop, a book you can't put down, or a catchy song you just can't get out of your head. On Path, you can: Capture and edit photo and video with our powerful and easy-to-use camera tools. Express your feelings with a set of emotions including love and laughter. Share a song, movie, or TV show, and see what your friends are enjoying too. Check-in at your favorite place and discover recommendations from your friends. Manage who can see your moments by creating an Inner Circle or making your moment private. Handpick moments to show on other social networks including Facebook, Twitter, and more. Start sharing your life on Path today.
Has a cool, sleek interface, allows you to share a variety of facets in your life, has filters for your photos, has a more intimate feel than other social networks, and it's free!
Might be too simple for some people, but I think this is what makes it stand out from other social networking apps.
Path is a cool little social networking app that lets you share parts of your life to the people who really matter. With facebook, twitter, instagram, and all that hoopla, it's hard not to fall into a social media overload. The beauty of the Path app lies in its simplicity and personal feel. The photo filters and chat feature help to reinforce this. Plus you don't have to worry what you're sharing, since it'll be limited to within your small group of friends. Path is a cool, new, breathe of fresh air in the overcrowded realm of social media.