Recently a colleague asked for my perspective on Path, and what the application is for brands. In responding to her, I figured with clients starting to ask about the self-deemed “more personal social network,” it made sense to share my thoughts more broadly.
First off, what is Path? Path is mobile-based social networking app aimed at helping people connect with their close circles of friends and family. Path launched its iPhone app on November 15, 2010, and its Android app on June 30, 2011, centered on sharing photos and videos, and over time expanding into sharing experiences such as music people are listening to, movies they’re watching and books they’re reading in the updates. And of course Path has filters like Instagram, Hipstamatic and the multitude of other photo apps.
A key point to emphasize for companies evaluating where they should have a social presence is the social network’s intentional limitation to of 150 connections per user. Path CEO Dave Morin describes his company – in a recent interview with CNBC – as “a network designed for your personal life, rather than your social or professional life.”
While the number one reason people “like” a brand on Facebook is for deals, discounts and contests, even if you find a way to incentivize consumers on Path, you’d only have the possibility of reaching beyond 150 people. That’s not a large number unless you’re extremely targeted and able to generate a call to action. And that’s if the people decide to let you into their inner circle of 150 connections. Additionally, the app prides itself on being personal, focused on private sharing with family and close friends, with the option to push content to Facebook or Twitter as people see fit. Personally, I don’t need the Virgin Americas or ESPNs of the world (both brands I “like” on Facebook – and enjoy in real life, too) seeing my personal updates I’m sharing with my closest family and friends, and I’d imagine most people feel the same. I’ll save that for Facebook, where I know my updates are much more public and therefore don’t post as much personal content or as frequently.
And that, was a long response to get to the answer to the question. No, Path probably isn’t right for your brand – unless the company pivots and changes its focus on features, which is unlikely.