If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed with hundreds of friends on Facebook or legions of followers on Twitter, Path may be the social network for you. Described by its developers as a "personal network", Path limits your friends to a total of 50. That may seem like very few people to share your life with, but the reasoning behind the limit is pretty solid. With a limit of 50 friends, you are forced to choose the most important friends and family in your life - the people you trust most and the people with which you are most comfortable sharing all the moments in your life.
You access Path from your iPhone and using the application is drop dead simple. Snap a photo of what's happening, choose a few context tags (there are three: people, place, thing), and share with the people on your "path." That's it.
While Path seems to be aimed at consumers who want to share their lives with personal friends, there could be an opportunity for businesses and professionals to use a personal network:
- Salespeople could communicate with one another in a closed environment.
- Nonprofits could share events with key donors.
- Businesses might use Path to share the progress of a project or initiative with investors or executive management
For the near future, however, it seems like Path is going to be a consumer-focused application and service. Like all social networks, monetization is often the ultimate goal, so a B2B or B2C iteration might be a possibility down the road.
With its limited feature set-and really limited friend list-Path is not likely to overtake Facebook or Twitter. In fact, the social media bloggers are not too keen on Path, pointing out limitations of the service and predicting its doom from the start. But for early adopters among the social media elite, it could be a welcome change of pace from the too-public world of Facebook and Twitter.