Goodbye Path

Interesting to get an email from Path this morning announcing that they are shutting down. Although sad for the users, it’s lovely when a company exits gracefully; Readmill was the best example of this where they created a whole downloadable set of HTML pages to tell your individual story of what you had done on their platform, as well as providing simple ways to upload data to other services.

I created a Path account but it never stuck with me. As a social network, the value is in connecting with other people and you can only do that if they also join the service. Facebook and Twitter already had big enough critical mass that there was little hope in getting enough of my friends to join to make it useful.

I remember reading about Path in 2012 when controversy erupted about the app taking a copy of your address book to do things such as let you know when friends signed up for an account. At the time I thought that they had been unfairly singled-out as so many apps did exactly the same thing, but it was good overall that a story got out which made people more privacy-conscious. Maybe that will be their legacy.

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