Path (social network)
|Foundation date||San Francisco, California|
|Headquarters||San Francisco, California, United States|
|Key people||Dave Morin
|Type of site||Social networking|
|Available in||English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Dutch, Russian|
Based in San Francisco, California, the company was founded by Shawn Fanning and former Facebook executive Dave Morin. Path's initial $2.5 million funding round included Ron Conway, Index Ventures, First Round Capital, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Rose, Marc Benioff, Chris Kelly, and others. It subsequently raised $30 million in venture capital from Redpoint Ventures.
Path limits each user's social network to 150 friends to encourage users to select only high-quality connections. Overall, the decision the company says was inspired by psychology research that suggests people have a maximum number of workable social contacts. The limitation, along with user controls over how to share each post, were designed to encourage greater sharing of personal information by keeping it private to a person's inner circle of social contacts. The site was intended as a companion to Facebook and other social network platforms, as opposed to a destination website.
Contacts are suggested from among persons in a user's electronic address book, as well as people with whom the user is communicating by email. A user is currently able to publish photos to any other user of the system without confirmation from the receiver of the pictures, and the receiver is not able to delete the user from their list of friends.
In November 2011, Path relaunched with more features and by December 2011, and grew from 30,000 to over 300,000 members in less than a month.
In February 2012, the company was widely criticized for concerns of accessing and storing member phone contacts without their knowledge or permission. In a blog post by the CEO the company apologized and said that it changed its practices. However, in March 2012, the company received a request for information from Reps. Henry A. Waxman (D-California) and G. K. Butterfield (D-North Carolina) along with 33 other app developers asking them to detail what information they collect from users and how they use it.
In February 2013, the company was fined $800,000 by the FTC for storing data from underage users and will be required to have its privacy policies assessed every two years for the next 20 years. Along with the civil penalty, FTC has prohibited Path from making any misrepresentations about the extent it maintains confidentiality of its users personal data. Path claims to have deleted all the personal information from the address book collected while their deceptive practices were still in place.
Recently a number of people have reported receiving spam texts from path.com. As of June 17th 2013, spam texts are still hitting user cell phones. Persons receiving the spam texts may not have ever been associated with Path instant messaging.
- McCarthy, Caroline (November 14, 2010). "A Path the world isn't meant to see". CNET.
- Fowler, Geoffrey A. (March 11, 2011). "Path Gets "FriendRank" and a Revenue Stream". The Wall Street Journal.
- "Start-Up Path Aims for More Personal Social Network". The New York Times New Roman. November 15, 2010.
- Isaac, Mike (November 14, 2010). "New Social Network Path = iPhone + Instagram + Facebook – 499,999,950 Friends". Forbes.
- Molina, Brett (November 15, 2010). "Following the Path to a more personal social network". USA Today.
- "From Ex-Facebooker, A New 'Path' To Sharing". Associated Press. November 15, 2010.
- Frommer, Dan (November 15, 2010). "Path Launches To Save You From Facebook". Business Insider.
- "Startup Path bids to be 'anti-social network'". Economic Times. November 16, 2010.
- De Jesus, Roy (November 19, 2010). "A different Path to create your social network". Central Florida News 13.
- After Months Of Buzz, Path Launches: It's Photo Sharing Where You Can Be Yourself | TechCrunch
- Path Gets $8.5 Million. Ahem! Why? — Tech News and Analysis
- A New Path: Path Grows Daily Users 30x Since Relaunch | TechCrunch
- Path CEO: We are sorry, and we've deleted your address book data | Rafe's Radar - CNET News
- Bonnington, Christina (March 23, 2012). "Congress Queries App Developers on Their Data Privacy Practices". Wired.
- Path's Big Privacy Mistake Offers a Valuable Lesson for Startups
- Path Social Networking App Settles FTC Charges it Deceived Consumers and Improperly Collected Personal Information from Users’ Mobile Address Books