We are in a very rapidly changing time, and experiencing technology that becomes outdated in an instant. Social media rules the mobile world, and mobile is taking over the way we work, learn, communicate, and document our life. Yesterday’s new social network is tomorrows “old news.”
It seems that every day, a new social platform emerges. Some of these zone in on niche markets – others take on the likes of Facebook and Twitter – while some start in 1 target group and explode into the other. Instagram, for example, was introduced as a way for photographers & fans of analog photography to share and create photographs akin to the days of Poloroid instant develop photos, and will soon be under the wing of the “Big F” – and where that will go, nobody knows.
One social network, launched in November of 2010, has truly caught me by surprise. A social network that combines the ideas of Facebook status, Twitter micro-blogging, photo sharing, and location tagging called “Path” I had seen the occasional post on Twitter with a link back to someone’s “Path”, but never gave it much thought. A few weeks ago, I decided to give Path a try, and to my surprise, the app is so much fun to use. Path isn’t just another tired social platform. The whole principal behind Path isn’t to share news and links, or to create a network of all your friends. Instead, Path is about sharing your journal, or “path”, of your life on the go. The apps home screen shows a stream of all your friends current paths. Path informs you when your someone has looked at your moment or gone to your profile. It notifies you (if enabled) when your connections post to their Path or leaves you an emoticon (akin to liking a Facebook post). Path isn’t about what happened or what will happen – its about the NOW – and about sharing as you are out-and-about!
What makes Path most interesting to me is that it has such a visually and aesthetically pleasing interface, and it’s one of the smartest social networks I’ve ever experienced. Path learns from your post habits. When you launch Path in a new neighborhood, it automatically posts the your location has changed to whatever city/village/area you are in. I went to a White Sox game with my wife, for example, and as I got to my seat, I launched Path – and there it was “Ian : In Bridgeport, Chicago”. Of course, I can then hone in on where exactly I am, and upload a photo. In a matter of seconds, I can tap the (+) button in the bottom corner, tap the camera icon, snap a picture, choose my location – U.S. Cellular Field, tag my wife under “I’m with” and click done. The smooth and inviting interface makes sharing fun and enjoyable.
Path has a number of other excellent features. I suggest that if you’re looking for that social space that’s personal, semi-private, and beautifully designed, then you check out Path [app store link]. I hope other social networks can take note of Path’s unique and seamless UI, and *smart* updating, it could truly change the social networking game.