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Path: Separate Friends From Frienemies

November 16th, 2010

When Facebook announced email yesterday, it gave us a chance to remember how the social graph has changed relationships. If anything, Facebook has changed the definition of a friend. We no longer use the word acquaintance. Instead, we have friends, frienemies and BFFs. On Facebook, we may have thousands of “friends.”

Path launched yesterday as a new social network in an iPhone app. But what distinguishes Path from all other networks is that a user cannot have more than fifty people in their personal network. Choose your friends carefully.

The service focuses on what’s happening right now. At the moment, the only way to communicate through Path is by taking and uploading photos. It knows that a close group of friends share experiences, values and inside jokes. So when you share a photo with your closest friends, you may not necessarily need to post separately as text.

Path is watching how people use the service closely, and it will almost certainly add more features (like the ability to share text). Don’t look at this as an iPhone network either, since the service is working on apps for more devices. Even with improvements, it has committed to retaining its friend limits per profile.

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