I read with interest earlier in the week the announcement of a new social networking site which is launching – Path.
Referred to by some as ‘the anti-social network’ and by itself as ‘the personal network’ it promises to limit friends to just 50 people.
On its blog Path says;
‘Because your personal network is limited to your 50 closest friends and family, you can always trust that you can post any moment, no matter how personal. Path is a place where you can be yourself.’
Bit full on for my liking, but I get where they’re coming from.
On Twitter there is a constant pressure that you need to impress – you have to be funny and intelligent, and source amazing articles, and engage with strangers without sounding pushy or false. Everyone who’s on it wants to be an industry ‘expert’ and, no matter how many blog articles there are saying that ‘it’s quality not quantity’ when it comes to followers, there is still that pressure that you should have more.
Then there’s Facebook – where you have a constantly updated stream of boring ‘I’m eating a sandwich’ or ‘I hate my boyfriend’ status updates and over-shares. Plus, you have the constant de-tagging of hideous photos to worry about, which instantly appear on your profile even if you don’t want them to.
The idea of only having 50 of your closest friends is very appealing.
But it does make me wonder if it will truly work.
It is very easy to limit the size of your existing social networks – you simply IGNORE the random friend requests from old school friends and the weirdo you met down the pub last Saturday.
But the fact is that the majority of people don’t ignore them.
Perhaps its people’s natural curiosity – they like spying on their ex and seeing how much weight they’ve put on, they enjoy nosing on the school ground bully and seeing that she’s now an unemployed chav with a bad taste in bomber jackets.
On Twitter – people like the idea that they are being followed. Indeed even the name ‘followers’ makes you feel special, like some kind of cult leader, or perhaps Jesus.
So, for these reasons I’m intrigued.
Has Path got staying power or will people get bored of just seeing the same 50 people?
The fact its launching on iPhone I see as a good thing – iPhone owners already feel slightly holier-than-thou, so the fact they will now have their very own social network (for the time being at least) will no doubt only serve to be benificial. And a great way to test if the concept works.
And besides, with social networking heavyweights behind the project including former Facebook senior platform manager Dave Morin, Macster co-creator Dustin Mierau and Napster co-founder Shawn Fannin I have a feeling that they won’t take fail as an option.
What do you think – are you going to sign up to Path? Or would you miss the banalities of other networking sites?