Path provides users with another way to network socially with friends and family. The application helps users build a path to others through their social network. Users can share information about their lives, what they are doing, and more. They can also add photographs and put the people they know and places they have been in context. With the "Stacks" feature, the photos are then organized based on the places, people and things tagged in them. Through Path, users can stay informed and keep friends and family up to date on what is going on in their life.
Path was created by Dave Morin and Dustin Mierau. Before founding Path, Morin was Senior Platform Manager for Facebook and Mierau was the co creator of Master. Path was created to help users form an intimate social network where they can share information and updates. Users can tailor their network to include whomever they like. Today, Path provides a service very similar to many other social networking websites however with an air of maturity. The application isn’t just another way to find three hundred friends; it’s a way to connect with others in a clutter free environment.
In general, Path does not offer a service that any other social networking website doesn’t already offer. However, the key characteristic of Path is in the setting. The website is clutter free and gives off an air of sophistication and maturity. One of the biggest problems some adults have with using sites like MySpace and Facebook involve the large numbers of young people who are usually the focus of this type of site. Although things are slowly evolving, Path starts off with an unintimidating environment that gives users control without all the annoyances that are present on other social networking sites.
The look of Path seems to help set the tone for what it does. Users are greeted with a red and white color scheme featuring a gentle fabric texture. The curled Path logo compliments the design well. Even the homepage is kept minimal, with the logo, a few navigational links, and a demo video that seems to share a lot about what Path does without a single narration. Path tools are also easy to use and mobile device friendly so users can share images or receive instant messages from friends and family.
The registration link for Path is not readily apparent to a new user visiting the homepage for the first time. The user must scroll the entire way down the page to find a sentence of text under the “How Do I Start My Path?” header. Users are advised that Path can be downloaded through the Apple Store. Users who wish to get Path online can click the red “here” link at the end of the second sentence. The registration form asks for a first and last name, email address, phone number, password, gender, and phone type.
Path welcomes users with a free account. Anyone can create a personal social network and share images for free. Users can also tag others, which encourage new members to join and become a part of Path. Even though the features available are not much different from MySpace or Facebook, they are well made and organized. Path seems to focus on a more mature audience and entices them to participate with a free account.
Anyone who enjoys connecting with friends and family but dislikes the atmosphere of popular social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook can really enjoy Path. The features are easy t use and allow users to tag photos and put the people they know in context.