Why Path Is What G+ Should Have Been
Looking back on 2011 in the digital sphere, it is hard for me to find those one or two highlights that were groundbreaking, new, innovative and lead the way into 2012. Everything that happened in 2011 was pretty foreseeable and a continuation of 2010 developments without any major disruption.
The one most remarkable thing in my eyes was Google+: Not because of its success, but because many people realized that Facebook may not rule forever. For now, I made my mind up: Google+ will not be able to significantly hurt Facebook. But it was amazing to see how many people were obviously waiting for a Facebook alternative. In the first weeks and months, you would see a lot of people saying goodbye to Facebook. But Google+ wasn’t able to deliver. Honestly, I find it hard to find any significant and relevant content when I check my news stream on G+ every once in a while, and most of the few pieces I find, I have read on Facebook before.
If I would have to bet on a network that might go through the roof in 2012, it would clearly be Path.
I have less than 20 friends there and yet I am already more addicted to it than I ever was to G+. What did Path do what G+ didn’t?
1. Friends concept
Path is limited to 150 friends, a number that apparently is a scientific common sense for the maximum of meaningful social relations you can conduct in a certain period of your life. G+ has asynchronous friending with obviously no limit: People can add you without your permission. I am connected to more people that I simply don’t know than on any other network including Twitter. And since the sharing features and that whole network are so rich, it is way more awkward than on Twitter, where I know that everything I do is just public: On G+, I can circle and fine-tune everything, but there is always this insecurity that this strange internet-life-insurance-sales-guy who just added me can see something I don’t want him to see. G+ goes for the whole thing right from the start, trying to cover every level of social relation I might have with someone. Path goes for a niche – but the most valuable niche there is: my true, most meaningful relations with real friends.Continued on the next page