However, I agree with the excellent presentation posted here a while ago 'The Real Life Social Network' (http://www.slideshare.net/padday/the-real-life-social-networ...) that the issue isn't number of people I want to share with. The issue is that the groups of people I want to share content with are completely separate. There are a number of pictures I would be happy to share with all my friends but would not want to share with my parents, or pictures that would be relevant to share with my co-workers but not all my friends. Until that issue is solved I'll continue to not share as much as I would were I to have more flexible (and easy to use) permissions.
The notion of "clustered social graphs" where you can share and update what you want/when you want and ignore/archive/or leave when you are done is more accurate on how people interact.
The Frid.ge has been contemplating how this maps out as a mobile experience and sharing what you want when you want with who you want. How is that limited to just a one group of people all the time?
Even if you take the time to create lists for your different social groups, these groups will evolve over time, because of new friendships, fights or whatever; which means that you need to spend time maintaining who belongs to what group. That will generally not happen.
The other solution is to rely on intelligent systems that manage your groups (Facebook could do that kind of things based on who interacts with whom, and what kind of subjects, etc.) or who sees what (Facebook already kind of does that from the point of view of showing you what you will find interesting, not what other can or not see at all) but relying completely on systems like that is difficult and scary, and will still hinder sharing stuff blindly.
things coming and going should be a feature not a flaw of the way people interact online...
Quality should be judged on merit, not who made them.
If there's magic here, somebody lift the kimono.
Reputation and association are forms of merit (or demerits) accumulated by people. For example, people often pre-order books based on the author.
It all looks quality from here.
I kind of like the idea, and the world is becoming ripe for a simpler Facebook, but christ - I can only imagine the difficult conversations about why I didn't reciprocate when someone 'pathed' me. "Sorry, you're not in my top 50".
I'd also be very worried about the even more difficult conversation: "sorry, you were in my top 50, but I've bumped you for my new friend Dave"
I doubt more than 50 people care about my personal photos anyway. It doesn’t sound limiting enough to make it a new kind of thing. I could easily be wrong.
And engineers are a heck of a lot more expensive than a catchy TLD.
closest comparable I found is routes.com for 100k
"The site so far is a list of lists. You make a list, give it a name and add items to it. Then you can see who else has made a list with the same name, what's on their list and what the most popular items are across all lists with the same name. Lists are things like "best coffee in San Francisco," or "evil corporations."
Oh well, maybe we haven't seen everything yet.
And the only major difference is that you can only have 50 friends...
That could be the bad news: the site might appeal most to those like me who value our privacy -- and I'm not sure how many of us are left :)
But I'm not an iPhone user either. Currently using a Pre but contemplating a switch to Android.
My only gripe? 50 is too many "friends." I doubt many of us interact meaningfully with 50 people in a given week, let alone in a given day.
I also wonder how much more users would be willing to share if 50 became 10.
These guys have been working on this for a long time, and atm the app looks like a prototype. In the interim instagram and a dozen other services went out, launched, and gained traction.
You can talk about the network theory stuff but most users aren't interested in that
I hate being Mr Negative, I am just a bit underwhelmed considering the hype - these guys have already been covered a lot in the national mainstream press
When a social network starts, its membership is sparse. Not everyone uses it, and the odds that your best friends will all pick up and use it off the bat are improbable. Therefore, in the lonely wasteland of a newly colonized social network, people tend to make friends with acquaintances. Of course, you're not super good friends with these people, but it would be rude to deny their requests as well.
What do you do when your real friends finally show up? Frump your acquaintances? Sure, you weren't really good friends with these people, but you don't want to isolate yourself from them either. Frumping/defriending/depathing actively demonstrates to them that the budding friendship you could have had is not there. People in real life move on, but they also get back in touch too. Having to squeeze back into someone's "path" is unnatural. Sure, it happens in real life, but to have to actively mimic that on a website--what if you are overestimating the value another person sees in you? That could have disastrous consequences. I don't maintain 500+ friendships at once, but I wouldn't want to tell 500 people "sorry, we're not friendly enough to be pathed."
Path really seems to have a flawed premise. Considering the hype, they've probably got quite a big chunk of funding too. I see it degenerating into a popularity contest--social groups have an ebb and flow, but they rarely have official declarations. What happens when people wander apart? Do you declare, "our friendship is not important enough to be in my path anymore?" I could never imagine doing that to anyone. What if you have forty relatives you'd like to keep in touch with? Can you only have ten friends?
(I am an investor in both dailybooth and picplz)
I can't add any friends even if I know their url - I can only hope they add me. I'd have thought letting people add friends by visiting their url on the website would be a reasonable feature of even the most basic MVP iteration.
As it stands the web site is useless to non-iPhone users and so I don't see why they bothered to launch that aspect.
> Because your personal network is limited to your 50 closest friends and family, you can always trust that you can post any moment, no matter how personal.
But as others have pointed out, 50 is just an arbitrary number. There might be more than 50 people someone is happy to see a photo, or there might be less. For risque photos, someone may only want a subset of their friends to see it. A better system would be to allow users to have multiple overlapping subsets of visibility, with one being the default.
not all of us an Apple one. should I feel sorry I'm not your target or you should be sorry because you restrict a social network to one platform?
Don't mistake limited resources for a decision to be iPhone only. In my experience, iPhone development tends to be significantly faster than on other platforms. Both because of the ubiquity of information about the iOS SDK and the learning curve necessary to learn a mobile platform is lower than Windows or Android.
To build something that integrates with the camera requires platform-specific solution (says a disgruntled but understanding Android user who can't use Path yet either)
Which is probably why they are looking for an Android developer:
We’re launching first on the App Store on iPhone. If you do not have an iPhone, you can still register and check out Path through your browser."
I took this to mean that they're definitely planning on releasing for other platforms.
They probably released this earlier than they were supposed to because of instagram (http://instagr.am/) and that's why they are currently missing other platforms.
I wonder if it will make people think twice about opening a photo, knowing that that action will be logged publicly and conspicuously. I also wonder if it'll come with an on-off switch analogous to facebook and linkedin's profile views feedback.
One respondent suggested that this would limit growth. If a cap of 50 doesn't quite limit growth, I wonder if it's different enough to Facebook that it might have any success?
About three years ago I started working on a sharing engine that offers what Path seems to be offering. Three years later and two startups (built using that sharing engine) closed, I can share a few thoughts (and a couple of stories):
We thought sharing was broken. Privacy, permissions, different media files, social networks all around were making things complicated for the average user, etc.
We had this situation at home were my sister just had her first son. She was living in Madrid and my folks back at home in Venezuela.
They wanted updates of their grandson and my sister wanted to send pictures, videos, etc. about him but there was no “definitive” way to do it.
She wanted the sharing experience to be private (or at least we thought so. In retrospect I think we assumed she wanted this) and there wasn't a simple way to do this.
We sat down and came up with this sharing engine that was going to be unique and was going to allow her (and many like her) to share her sons life (and her own) with whomever she wanted, have complete control and was going to be incredibly simple to use. After many brainstorming sessions we finally found the perfect combination:
Users were allow to create their own sharing contexts (in the first startup their were called "buckets" and in the second they were called "albums"). These contexts were by invitation only: only the people you gave access to that context could "interact" with the media inside the context.
These contexts had a set of rules (permissions) that were unchangeable once the contexts was created: the reasoning here is that if you invite someone to that context and the person joins, it's doing so based on a certain promise*
Available in every platform: Desktop, web, mobile.
This simple, yet powerful combination gave birth to what I personally think holds more value that the engine it-self: what I called the “smart news feed”. This new smart news feed, was smart because it only showed what was really interesting to me. And between you and me, it was not really smart per-se, it was just that you only received notifications from the contexts you were a part of.
This had two mayor benefits:
-My news feed only showed activity (comments, uploads, etc) about the contexts I was a part of.
-I was 100% sure that people, not part of a context would receive notifications of my activities in that specific context.
I had a context that I shared with my folks. We shared pictures, funny videos, football news, etc (my dad loves Football: Go Napoli!)
I also had a context that I shared with my wife. The contents of this contexts were quite different from the one I shared with my folks.
Here is where the newsfeed was important: My folks only got notifications of my activities in the context we shared but not on those activities I did on the context I shared with my wife. Is quite simple, yet very powerful.
Of course this engine has a lot of neat stuff, like the ability to share all types of media you can think of, highly scalable, very fast and so much more.
About our two closed Startups:
On the first one this engine was a part of a bigger app that integrated your entire online life: mail, contacts, Calendar, RSS, IM, etc. We never officially launched so I can’t give you to much insight about the idea (the sharing part at least).
After that, we took the engine and built a Twitter app out of it: Twitalbums.com
The idea was simple: private sharing on Twitter. No one was doing this and we thought, heck let’s be the first ones to do it. The engine is built, all we need to do is connect with Twitter, put it out there and see what happens.
We did and we got some initial traction about 800 users and a review:http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/twitalbums_private_coll... , but looking back, a couple of things worked against us:
-Our execution was... meh. I mean, we were so focused on the engineering part, that we forgot about the user experience.
-Nature of the platform: Twitter users want to broadcast and be heard. They don’t want to share privately. It seems obvious now... but you know how it goes.
About Path and Instagr.am
I like this dichotomy, because I have actually thought hard about this two apps long before they existed.
First let’s say this: mobile is the correct approach. I think this is were you want to be with either one.
Path: is what I wanted to do with the engine we built.
However, it turns out people are social creatures (go figure!) and being social outweighs the need for privacy.
Instagr.am: is were I evolved our sharing engine (we went from private by default, to public by default, making EXTREMELY easy to be make it private). Instagr.am is going to win on the traction game but loose on the monetization one.
Could Path win on the monetization game? I think so.
Closed groups have some benefits:
You could display HIGHLY targeted advertising to an specific group
You could identify users that get real value out of your service as a group and charge for use
However, I think the real value of private sharing (and were the money is) is in the small and medium business and how a tool like (in this case) Path could benefit to mobilize and facilitate communications between employees. I think if the offer is right business will be willing to pay for this (and employees will have no choice but to use it. Remember, Instagr.am already won the traction game)
edit: This is from within the iPhone app.
I want to try it, but all I see is a blank page. I suspect I'll have forgotten entirely about Path by the time they launch apps for other mobile platforms (or a web interface!)
Props to a strong team though.
Also, when I need to fill out my phone number, just let me pick "me" from my contact list, easier.
As for myself, I am not particularly interested in this service and have no plans to use it, but that doesn't mean it's lame or that there's no market for it or that it can't be a success.