Path is a mobile only social network for your closest friends. It provides the basics of a social network (messaging, news feed, picture/video posting, location check-ins, status updates, and “friending" of people). But, because it is more intimate than a larger social network (ex. Facebook), it has become a much richer and detailed way to document my life.
Things I Love
Path is known for its design. Path’s best design elements are the clock, which changes as the user scrolls, and the “+" button that allows the user to add a new moment. Moving clock hands as the user scrolls is a truly innovative UI element, and is something that I have not seen on any application. Pressing the “+" button beautifully releases five different buttons that the user can select.
My favorite features in Path are emoticons, and book/movie/music/tv show sharing. Path allows emoticon posting on moments. Unlike Facebook where users are only able to ‘like’ a post, posts (or moments) on Path can be smiled at, winked at, frowned at, surprised at, or loved. This allows for rich and quick responses to a friend’s moment, while adding a unique feature to social networking.
I really enjoy book/movie/music/tv show sharing. My friends have shared lots of great media through Path that I did not know about, and I have discovered new media this way. Path makes it easy to share what music is currently playing on a user’s smartphone, and has autocompletion for most music, movies, books, and tv shows. When friends share songs they are listening to, other friends are able to listen to a preview of the song in the app, and when friends share movies or books, Path displays a short description of the movie or book in the app. The intimacy of Path promotes more sharing than on Facebook, and has allowed me to better stay in touch with my closest friends.
Things I Don't
One feature I never use is the ability to share sleep information. I have shared sleep information with friends, and every time friends either comment on me sleeping too much or me sleeping too little. The predictability of the responses to my hours of sleep gets old, and I no longer record my sleep data. I have approximately 30 friends on Path, and none of them share sleep data either. Sharing how many hours you sleep every day seems to be oversharing, and is an unnecessary feature of the application, in my opinion.
A Way to Monetize Path
Path is currently trying to monetize by selling virtual goods, either as a monthly/yearly subscription or on a per item basis. This is a great start, but I am skeptical that this tactic will make Path enough money. I believe that sponsored stickers would improve the user experience while making Path and advertisers happy.
There are limitless options for sticker packs, and these would make the app much more fun while bringing in more money for Path. Sponsored sticker packs would be free for users, and would add more sticker variety for users to post. I know that Path is trying to build a social network without ads, but I think that these ads would not be intrusive at all.