Why Path Is What G+ Should Have Been - Page 3
4. App concept
Path can be so relaxed with sharing and displaying who visited your profile not only because of their friends concept, but also because it is simply an app: There is no website other than a promotional page trying to make you download the app. This means that content on path can not easily be blown out in the web to the eyes of people you don’t (want to) know. It would require a kind of criminal energy like screenshotting your content and then sharing the jpg on the web: Let’s be honest, if your friends do that, you should reconsider your social relations. On Facebook (and G+) there is a lot more insecurity with your content because it can (theoretically) easily be distributed in the web.
On my smartphone, Path took over one of the few shortcut buttons on my home screen (right beneath email and Facebook, camera and browser). I had to remove the G+ shortcut for it, and I am glad I did. Of course, Path lacks some features that G+ would absolutely need to fulfill the requirements that would make a social network valuable to a company like Google.
Google’s main reason to launch a social network is the fact that social sharing becomes more and more important to many big websites as a traffic source: Google’s home turf. It used to be the undisputed number 1 traffic source for any significant website out there, but Facebook is gaining a lot of market share in this department. This is something that Path will have to add somewhen down the line. And it is going to be huge, because it will feature links of your closest connections. The impact as a traffic source on big websites might not be as significant in absolute numbers; but you can expect a high quality of that traffic because it comes from a trusted source of recommendation: People who are very likely to think similarly to the user that they are referring to a website.
To Facebook, these pages are a great source of business. Many campaigns booked on Facebook do not lead people outside, but on a fanpage inside Facebook. Of course, Google will want to have a piece of that business, too. And it must be a good position to know that you are running the infrastructure for the management of billions of direct relations between companies and their customers. I doubt if Path will have the potential to add a product like this, but on the other hand, for a company like Google, this might not be the highest priority: Their strategic task must have been to gain back market share in link sharing and defend their number 1 position as the top referrer of traffic to any website. So business (and celebrity) pages might be just a vehicle to gain traffic that can be referred to other sites.Continued on the next page