Android Jumps On The Path Social Network

While other social networks seem to focus on enabling people to share whatever they want with as many people they want, Path has a different approach by limiting the number of friends one can have to 50 people. Path first launched last November exclusively on the iPhone, and a public beta of the Path Android app is now available in the Android Market.

After installing Path on your phone it asks to connect to Facebook, in fact, the only way to sign in to the Android app is via Facebook. You will also want to pay attention to what Path can access in Facebook because it pretty much wants to access every single thing on your profile.

Once you sign in Path queries your Facebook friends and presents a list of five that it thinks are your most active friends, although I am skeptical of that list because one of my friends it presented hardly ever signs on to Facebook. You do have the option to invite additional people either from your Facebook friends or via an e-mail address you provide, though you are limited to fifty.

When you select a Facebook friend to invite Path posts an invitation on their wall. After you select who to invite to your Path network, there doesn’t appear to be much else to do. The Path app has two tabs, one that appears to be a stream where the information you and your friends share appears, and the other that lists your friends. The stream tab is completely blank at first, all you see is a camera button at the top right, and when you press the Menu button the only option is Sign Out.

Path focuses on sharing pictures, so basically the first think you will want to do is take a picture. After you take a picture you have the option to keep it private to just yourself, share it only with your friends, or share it publicly on Facebook. All of the pictures that you upload to Path are added to your Facebook newsfeed with a thumbnail, and I cannot tell who has access to the pictures.

A private picture that I took appears in my Facebook newsfeed pixelated with a lock on it giving the appearance of being private, but since I said I want to keep it private to myself, why does it even appear on my wall or newsfeed? Pictures that I designate to only share with my friends in Path show up in a viewable thumbnail in my newsfeed, which again appears to be viewable to any of my Facebook friends and not just the subset that I set up in Path. Perhaps only my Path friends can see the full picture on the Path web site, but I still don’t understand why it appears in my newsfeed to be accessed by all.

If you are looking for a way to share pictures with a select number of friends, and have an iPhone or Android phone, you might want to check Path out for yourself.