Social Networking on Android has a new “Path”

Wherever you go, the social network follows. With the newest entry, yes even newer than Google Plus; “Path” is the latest now, available on Android. Yes, the networks seem to have gotten smaller, more exclusive and more interesting.

Path for Android is now out as a beta release. It is quite unlike the prime social networking site Facebook, which allows everyone and their uncles to see what you are doing and where you’ve been. Unlike Facebook, where people pride in their extensive friend lists , and you are congratulated for every 100 friend increases in your list, Path is more exclusive and small. It allows users to create a group of no more than 50 friends, so you will only choose the closest friends and family members who can know everything embarrassing about you.

On its official blog page, Path says that it is ‘excited’ to join the Android Market. It shares your photos, updates, videos, location and activities with a very select group of people, so there is no overcrowding or over exposure. All your friends’ updates or ‘moments’ will appear on the homescreen, where you can respond to them using emoticons and comments. Your friends and family don’t even need to be on Path, your updates can reach them directly in their inbox.

Path said in its blog post that its users will be able to, “Capture and share life’s moments through photos; stay connected to a small group of 50 close friends and family; and tag moments with people, places, and things; view friends’ moments“. The blog post further says the users will also be able to, “Have intimate conversations around each moment with chat, know when your friends have seen your moments, and publish the occasional moment on Facebook for all of your Facebook friends to see“.

Though the company launched on the iPhone first, Path claims that it has no iOS platform bias. “We launched Path on the iPhone first because many of our first employees came from Apple“, a spokesperson for Path commented. Path had managed to attract a user base of half a million under the pioneering leadership of previous Facebook employee Dave Morin.

But the folks at Path should’ve timed this event better. With Google Plus out on the web, another social networking site is not a very wise investment. Google Plus lets you be as public as you want to be without going overboard with adding every face you remotely recognise or restricting your friend list to 50 people. It lets you navigate the network faster, recommend Google search pages to friends with the help of the famous +1 button. Still, Google + doesn’t yet have an iOS app, which limits it a bit.

Morin was going for a ‘quality network’ and hence created Path as a sort of a Personal network rather than a Public network, quite the opposite of Facebook. He accounts for the number 50 with the help of a Dunbar theory which claims that the rings of our social networks ripple out in factors of three. Morin calculates 5 closest friends of relatives in the most intimate circle, fifteen or so who we have regular contact with, and around three times that in the boundary of who is truly trusted. So Moring built Path, in his own words, as “a giving network, not a taking network“. So, people who know you intimately will be happy with your achievements, big or small. And here is one social network where a dislike won’t make you unpopular, but will be shared as a private joke.

Path is currently available for users of Eclair version 2.1 and up. So go ahead, be exclusive!

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Cross posted from VT's Tech Blog.

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Deeptaman Mukherjee

Deeptaman Mukherjee is one of those rare names in the Indian blogosphere, who pursues blogging as his hobby. In the 4 years of his blogging experience, he has worked with some of India's top blogs. He presently blogs at My Portable World and Tech Buzz Online. For any engagements or just to say a Hi, do get in touch with him at Twitter & Facebook. Know more about him, here.

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