Path is a smart and simple photo and video 'moment' sharing network.
It's unique feature is a limited network of 50 people allowing you to concentrate on sharing with the people that matter to you and positively enhancing the interaction and involvement of your peers. Path combines a sleek design with a great user interface to provide an app based network.
The limitations being the exact inverse of other popular photo sharing apps like Instagram. Path focuses on keeping things intimate; the result being an enhancement of engagement and social sharing that is assuringly only among closer circle of friends.
Path founders include former Napster co-founder Shawn Fanning and former Facebook worker Dave Morin. Their ethos behind Path is that by simple law of anthropological nature, people can only interact constructively among a network of no more than 150 people. So by limiting the expanse of your sharing network it focuses the hedonistic intention of the user onto the quality of his her content therefore increasing the value of the 'moments' among the 'sharers'.
Unlike most other networks that display multiple streams of interactivity, Path only shows you content from people that have shared with you, leaving you to digest 'moments' in a stripped back simple manner. The moments that are shared with the people that know you and have real-world insight into what those 'moments' actually mean to you rather than just the face value of the content itself.
When using Path; one takes an image, and adds the who, what, where of that image and shares it in the network. Your peers are free to comment or use Path’s own sentimental icons to show how they feel about that post. The simplicity of Path gives people in the network more time to focus on the more intimate moments between select friends, meaning the value of the networking increases as the intimacy is shared.
For example if a post of 'Casey' enjoying a coffee is added and the people in the network know how much 'Casey' loves her coffee then this post has been shared and communicated in a way the people in the network can relate to and in a way that corresponds only to unique information with their group.
Path ties together the functions of sharing within a limited network, imagine a micro Facebook based on users you interact with locally or share a site specific experience. Path may be very useful for an expedition team, a travelling research project or simply friends on a day out a shared experience over a geographical Pathway, common content or people appearing in various posts.
Unlike some other mobile based picture networking apps, Path is accessible online allowing the user to view and comment on posts on the web as well as from their mobile handset. The recent integration of video sharing within the app also contributes to diversifying the rich content even further. Making the short movie moment a richer sharing experience.
A very well rounded 'Web 2.0' styled interface welcomes the user into a stylish and discreet platform. Simple but essential functions like selecting imagery and video files then tagging them with the details keeps things straight forward and allows network peers to be tagged in posts themselves. The choices of details themselves can vary depending on where you are - previously geo-tagged posts can provide you with extra detail and lets you relate to others in your network who have been or lived your 'moment' previously.
The different windows available in the app are separated by latest posts from network members, a map of posts allowing you to geographically track your peers, a view of the list of your peers and a view of our own profile. With several simple views like this the focus of the app is kept on the content and the inclusion of the people you share to.
Path is a smart functional and simple image sharing app. Its future will almost certainly involve a very careful expansion and integration of new innovations. Though for now it is establishing a core of users based on a singular ethos.
Although extensive sharing to Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr etc is yet to be connected,the founders claim this is no hindrance as users are free to do this kind of outward sharing anyway.
The question lies as to whether the intended limitations of the app will work in favour of an exclusive network. One that not all your close friends may use or want to add to their app collection, or even have an app collection.