Not-so-social networking with Path iPhone app

Dec 5, 2010
Tech

The problem with creating new social networking apps at this point is that Facebook, by and large, has eliminated the competition. Sure there is LinkedIn for more professional networking and MySpace for those who like when a web page unexpectedly plays a techno song very loudly upon opening, but there isn’t a whole not of […]

The problem with creating new social networking apps at this point is that Facebook, by and large, has eliminated the competition. Sure there is LinkedIn for more professional networking and MySpace for those who like when a web page unexpectedly plays a techno song very loudly upon opening, but there isn’t a whole not of new ground to cover.

The developers of the Path app seem to realize this. So, instead of trying to cram a bunch of half-hearted new features to create a new social network, they’ve gone the opposite route, and have simplified social networking to such a degree you might as well be just sending picture texts to your friends.

Path lets you add up to 50 friends to your network, and the only thing you share is your photos. You take photos of your daily adventures, post them to your Path page, maybe add a brief description, and voila, you’re finished.

If nothing else, this keen emphasis on simple networking options might find a wonderful niche for people who can’t stand how convoluted Facebook can be, but still want to show their friends their new dog or car or whatever. The end result of a week’s worth of Path posts comes out looking like a fairly mundane scrapbook.

Path is designed with simplicity in mind. It’s easy to add a picture, and it’s even easier to add a new contact to your Path. You can add contacts either via existing email addresses in your iPhone’s contact list or by simply typing in the person’s email address.

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Smart design or not, if you are a chronic over-sharer, or deeply invested in the games on Facebook, Path will simply not work for you. This is very basic social networking. There are no apps, no real profiles, not much to see here at all. It’s not a bad thing, but for some people it will be a non-starter.

If you’re looking to go back to the basics of social networking, Path might be the app for you.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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