Watch Out Facebook: The Redesigned Path Is Growing Exponentially
Since the launch of its redesigned user interface, Path has doubled its user base to 2 million. What is different this time around?
You may recall Path, “the private social network” that promised to challenge Facebook’s ubiquity when it first launched in 2010 as a mobile application. Since then, Path lost some steam (and conversation) over 2011. However, a user interface and experience redesign two months ago has since won the smart, mobile journal a TechCrunch Crunchie award for best designed app of 2011 — and a doubled user base of 2 million users (1 million of which were earned during the past two months alone). Path is now back in the conversation, and showing up on smartphones everywhere.
Perhaps most impressive thing about Path is the beauty and simplicity of its user interface (it exists only on your smartphone). This differentiated, instinctive design allows users to share photos, thoughts and experiences with a limited audience of up to 150 personal relationships. It’s this combination of differentiated design and limited audience that makes the experience of using Path as your ‘personal timeline’ and smart journal different than Facebook’s mobile app, or even Foursquare’s more functional, utilitarian direction.
To illustrate Path’s growth and usage to date, we found the following data points — shared by CEO Dave Morin with All Things D — to provide context for the app’s position and purpose. Of course, the next question in our minds is: where is the opportunity for brands? Will brands ever find a place for relevant, engaging content on Path, or will users have to share it themselves? Is branded utility the answer, or will brands create their own “Paths,” and why will a user follow it?
We’re keeping an eye out for what’s next for brands on Path — particularly in light of the Nike health data integration Morin cites below:
- 70 percent of users return the next week
- Over 50 million pieces of content created by users
- Half a billion pieces of feedback (which includes views of an individual’s posted content, not just smiles, likes, comments, etc.)
- 15 million pieces of feedback created per day (vs. 10 million last year)
- Photos, status messages, and sleep records are the most common types of content shared, in order.
- One song shared on Path per second (no Spotify or Pandora integration – users search for songs directly on Path)
- Path’s largest user group is US-based, but contributors from the UK, Germany, Japan, France and Korea are growing quickly
- Next up for Path: extended platform tools (including a deal with Nike for health data), smarter friend-request filtering, and possibly a Windows Phone-compatible app