Path; Or, How To Make People Forget About Facebook
I have invested a lot of time and energy in Facebook, undoubtedly. I have read, probably, compendiums worth of status updates, notes and wall posts. There are a lot of pictures of me. Hundreds, probably. All of my friends use it. For the most part, Facebook is the digital locker room for my high school and college memories.
But it can still be a very convoluted, and often confusing place. News feeds are still full of updates and other information that I couldn’t care less about. News seems to come in torrents, and the like button often isn’t expressive enough to reflect what I often feel in regards to peoples updates.
Enter Path. Described as the, “smart journal that helps you share life with the ones you love,” in almost every way does it appear to be simpler, easier and more useful social network than Facebook. So, as opposed to sharing your information with, well, just about everyone you know, Path focuses on just those who are close to you. You can share anything from where you are, to recent photos of you and your friends, what you’re listening to and any other information that you might find pertinent to share. And although Path is mostly intended to complement Facebook and other social networks, it also might make some people forget all about them. Here are a few ways that Path aims to improve upon your social networking experience as a whole:
By Making it Simpler
On Facebook, I have over 400 friends. Not a lot, for sure. Compared to some, a pittance, even. Still, the average Facebook user certainly has over a hundred, and the average ‘power-user’, someone that attends college and is relatively socially active, easily has a few hundred.
But if you asked me how many of those people I actually communicate with on a daily basis, that number would drop down to the tens. In fact, some of my Facebook friends I probably haven’t communicated with in months and even years.
Path aims to cut down, rather significantly, on your social network by only allowing you to connect with a maximum of 150 of your friends, and ideally less. Why 150? Because that number reflects Dunbar’s Number — the maximum number of connections that any one person can maintain at one time is 150, according to anthropologist Robin Dunbar.
Path, by narrowing down your social network to the bare necessities, forces you to focus more on the quality of sharing, commenting and reflecting on your memories and ‘moments’ much more than the quantity. It is about providing a better, more finely tuned experience by minimizing the clutter that often makes it difficult to weed through the interesting and the boring on Facebook.
By Making it Smarter
Similarly, where Path has improved in overall clutter compared to Facebook, it has also significantly improved upon theuser interface. Compared to the likes of most other mobile social networking apps, especially Instagram, Path relies on a much smarter and more intuitive UI design that makes it far more conducive for sharing. In the bottom left corner is a simple button that, when clicked, introduces a host of sharing options for the user. It’s simple, looks amazing and, best of all, is remarkably intuitive (and it looks exactly like this).
By Making it Fun Again
In the years since Facebook’s conception, it seems to have lost much of the luster and flair that caused it to become such a successful and important part of the digital world to begin with.
Of course, people still use it. Partly because it is and has always been reliable (privacy issues aside), but also because all of their friends have already succumbed to the pressure of joining it. They became members back when it was new, when it was cool and when Facebooking was the talk of the town(that’s a very, right?).
But the shiny coat that initially covered Facebook and hid all of its glaring flaws has seemingly all but faded. And now, what we are left with in its wake is an old, boring way to communicate with friends. Or at least that’s the half-empty version of it.
Path aims to make social networking and communicating with friends ‘new’ again. Through its attractive UI, Path encourages users to embrace and indulge in sharing their ‘moments’. Whether those be birthday parties, a date with a significant other or just a fun time with friends, Path wants users to recall the days in which they were more concerned with sharing quality times with their close friends, than with establishing massive quantities of friends.
Path also takes Facebook’s ubiquitous ‘like’ button and injects a double-dose of awesome into it by instead changing its version of ‘like’ into emoticons. In Path, users can indicate a variety of different emotions by using one of the several options available.
The Facebook for Your Phone
But Path isn’t aiming to replace Facebook by any means. Instead, it hopes to become the go-to application for mobile communication. Whereas Facebook primarily takes place on the desktop, Path is (currently) only a mobile application. You can’t access it on your desktop, and Path wouldn’t want it any other way.
Path just wants to make your mobile sharing experience smarter, and more meaningful. After all, the mobile phone is the ideal medium through which people communicate with their close friends, so why not create a social network that reflects those connections?
And yet, there still lies the question of whether or not Path will ever catch on with mainstream users. Sure, it’s different and disruptive and cool — well, for right now it is. But it has yet to prove that people actually need a mobile social network. For now, it appears that most are already perfectly content with Twitter and Facebook.
Still, while it’s important and different, just share with me this ‘moment’. Here’s to Path.
Source: MSM DesignZ, Inc. is a Westchester NY web design firm specializing in SEO, social media, web and graphic design and much more.