1. Computing

What Is Path?

Your Social Media Journal App for iPhone and Android

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Path
Photo © Path, Inc.

Social media consumption from mobile devices like smartphones and tablet computers is growing at an incredibly fast rate.

Although only available through the iTunes App Store or Android Market, social media startup “Path” has been able to generate over a million users since its initial launch in November 2010.

About The Path Mobile App

Path is a mobile app for iPhone or Android, serving as a personal journal that you can use to share and connect with close friends and family. Path founder Dave Morin says that the new and improved app gives users a place to “capture all the experiences on their path through life.”

Essentially, you can use this app to create your own multimedia timeline, called a path, which consists of various updates and interactions between friends and family. You can also follow the personal paths of others and interact with them. In a lot of ways, the Path app is extremely similar to what the Facebook Timeline profile looks like and how it functions.

How Is Path Different from Facebook Timeline?

Over the years, Facebook has grown to become an Internet behemoth. Many of us have several hundreds of friends or subscribers on Facebook. We’re encouraged to add as many friends as we can and share everything we consume. Facebook has basically evolved into a hyper-sharing platform of information for the mass public.

While Path reflects a similar platform and functionality as Facebook Timeline, the app is not designed for mass, public sharing. Path is a social media app designed for smaller, closer groups of friends. With a friend cap of 150 people on Path, you’re only encouraged to connect with the people you trust and know very well.

Why Should You Use Path?

Path is an ideal app for anyone who has ever felt overwhelmed by the massive growth or large personal networks that come with interacting on Facebook. The Path app caters to those who need a more private way to share the things you want with the people who really matter to you.

If you’re reluctant to share or interact on Facebook because it’s simply just too crowded and not intimate enough for your liking, try inviting your closest friends to connect with you on Path instead.

Path App Features

Here's a brief list of what kind of things you can do with the Path mobile app. You'll probably find that most of them relate closely to Facebook Timeline features as well.

Profile Photo & Cover Photo: Set your profile picture and a larger top cover photo (comparable to the Facebook Timeline cover photo), which will be displayed on your personal path.

Menu: The menu lists all the sections of the app. The "Home" tab displays all the activity of you and your friends in chronological order. Choose "Path" to view your own path, and "Activity" to see your most recent interactions.

Friends: Choose "Friends" to view a list of all your friends, and tap any one of them to view their path.

Update: After pressing the Home tab, you should notice a red and white plus sign in the lower left corner of the screen. Press this to choose what kind of update you want to make on your path.

Photo: Snap a photo directly through the Path app or choose to upload one from your phone's photo gallery.

People: Choose the People icon to share who you are with at the time. Then, simply select a name from your network to display it on your path.

Place: Path uses GPS tracking to display a list of places near you so you can check in, kind of like Foursquare. Choose the "Place" option to tell your friends where you are.

Music: Path is integrated with iTunes search, allowing you to search for an artist and song easily. Use the search function to find the song you're currently listening to and select it to display it on your path. Friends can then look it up on iTunes to enjoy it for themselves.

Thought: The "Thought" option allows you to write a text update on your path.

Awake & Asleep: The last option that has a moon for its icon let's you tell your friends what time you're going to sleep or what time you're waking up. Once selected, your awake or asleep status will display your location, the time, the weather and the temperature.

Privacy & Security: While there doesn't seem to be any customizable privacy settings on Path during the time of this writing, the app is private by default and gives you total control of who can see your moments. Likewise, all Path information is stored within the Path cloud that uses world class security technology to keep you information safe and secure.

Getting Started with Path

Like all apps and social networks, Path will probably change over the years as it grows and takes advantage of newer technology and communication techniques.

To get started with the app, simply search for the term “Path” in the iTunes App Store or the Android Market. After downloading and installing the app, Path will ask you to create your free account, customize your settings like your name and profile pictures, and finally it will ask you to find friends or invite friends from other networks to join you on Path.

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