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Adii Pienaar

Now working on Receiptful. Co-Founder & ex-CEO of WooThemes. Author of Brandiing. New Dad. Ex-Rockstar.

What Path Should've Been

I first signed up for Path a little more than a year ago (on 23 November to be precise), after it was lauded as an "app to watch" being the brainchild of long-time Facebook employee, Dave Morin (heck, Google apparently tried to acquire Path for $100m back then). Path sounded good, so I gave it a try... A signup and one "status" later and I didn't see how Path would fit into my current social (networking) landscape.

Fast-forward to today and everyone is raving about Path V2. Like any pretend-hipster, I can't resist the urge of having a look at the new version; so I install a new copy on my iPhone (because I obviously deleted it after the useless experience last time around).

First impression: Shit, this looks really great! I love the UI, the interactions and everything is just so beautiful. I want to spend more time with this.

Second Impression: Wait. This now means I need to maintain yet another - separate - network. Mmm, unlikely. 

Having thought about this in more detail, I'm really unsure why Path are trying to create a whole new network, when there's so many great networks out there already. Surely it would've made sense to tap into those, since this would lower the barrier to entry (assuming that the user's time to maintain multiple networks is the constraint) for so many users?

Path is being billed as "A diary for a mobile and social world" and I actually think that - at the heart of the app - they accomplish this incredibly well. I can imagine myself scrolling through screens and screens of beautiful data, looking back at exactly what I did in the last year. That's not my problem with Path, in fact I love that about them. But as is the case with most things in life: "shit in, shit out", meaning that if I want that lovely reminiscing experience, I need to get the data in there.

I guess it would've been easier for me to use Path if they were aggregating my social data from elsewhere. Why not take my photos from Instagram? My check-ins from Foursquare / Gowalla / Facebook? And how nifty would Spotify or Rdio integration have been for music?

Had this been there, I'd likely have been a very active Path user... As things stand though, I've already deleted Path from my iPhone.

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