Nerd’s-Eye View: Path 2.0

Nerd’s-Eye View is a thing where I give my opinion or reaction to an app, service or other noun. Today, it’s about Path.

Between my Twitter friends’ gushing and the slew of emails I received inviting me to connect with people in the app, I decided to give Path 2.0 a try. I’d used the previous iteration of their service before (briefly), but the 2.0 release marked not only a complete redesign of the app, but a fundamental reworking of the entire service. Anyway, I installed it a few days ago and I have some thoughts.

First of all, everything you’ve heard about the app is true: it’s gorgeous and a pleasure to use. There are functions in the app that I feel require a few too many taps, but any complaints I have are quite minor. It really is a beautiful app and you should take it for a spin, even if you have no interest in using the service.

Having said all that, I’m going to be uninstalling the app quite soon, probably by the time you read this. Here’s why…

Path allows you to share all manner of things with your hand-picked network of (at most) 150 friends: status updates (like Twitter and Facebook), your current location (like Foursquare and Gowalla), photos (like Flickr and Instagram) and what you’re listening to (not unlike

Thing is, I already use virtually all of these services in their intended capacity. So do millions of other people.

So, I have a couple of options:

  • Stop using [one or more of the above services] and start using Path for [whatever the replaced service(s) did].
  • Try to incorporate Path into my social media life in a meaningful way while maintaining my current level of activity with the services I already use and enjoy.
  • Realize that I have no place for Path; it’s a solution to an already-solved problem for me.

The last option is the only one that makes sense to me. The fact is, I’ve spent a non-trivial amount of time carving out my own little corner of Twitter, Instagram and, to a far lesser extent, Foursquare and I simply don’t feel the need to uproot any part of what I do now in favor of a different network that offers, effectively, the same capabilities as what I’m already using (and will require me to track down and “re-friend” a bunch of people with whom I regularly interact on Twitter and Instagram).

But you’re supposed to use Path to talk to your core group of friends! The ones who you really trust! Your inner circle, if you will! Sir!

Yes, I get that this is a selling point of Path, but (and this is just me speaking for me, here) just about anything I’d share on Path would also be shareable on Instagram, Twitter or Foursquare. I simply don’t share really private things and am fine with sharing just about everything else. Of course each thought/photo/location is evaluated individually before it hits the copper, but I’m generally fine with sharing a great deal about myself publicly.

Please remember that I’m not saying I have a problem with Path — I just don’t have the need for it, personally.

But, don’t take my word for it — give the app a try.

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