In what the company billed as a minor update to its mobile apps, Path today veered into social discovery by beginning to generate QR codes that let users connect with one another in person using their smartphones.
Rather than typing in each other’s names and narrowing down on the right profile, one user can simply produce the QR code for the other to scan. Scanning the code converts the two users into friends on the mobile-only social network.
Path has positioned itself as a more intimate social network, making it easier for the user to stay in touch with close family and friends. The QR codes take it into the field of social discovery apps, which aim to make it easier for users to make in-person connections. Popular social discovery apps include Highlight and Banjo; Facebook also offers a Friends Nearby feature.
Scannable QR codes may seem like a clunky solution, but they seem to be experiencing a revitalization. For instance, the sexy bitcoin app Coinbase uses the codes to perform person-to-person payments in the digital currency.
Path’s update also adds more utility for stickers, the app’s only revenue source at present. And it supports easier sorting of a user’s list of friends to facilitate group messaging.