It’s been a rough year for private social networking app Path. The company has seen disappointing growth in many major markets, layoffs, and the departure of some key execs over the last twelve months. But while Path has largely remained quiet, behind the scenes the company has been working on a plan to switch up its business.
Today, Path is unveiling all that it has been working on over that time — including the launch of a new standalone messaging app, its acquisition of business messaging service TalkTo, and what could be the start of a new revenue model for the company.
Path’s Messaging Ambitions
While downloads in some big markets have slowed, Path is still seeing users come back to its app. According to founder and CEO Dave Morin, the company is seeing about 4 million DAUs per day, versus around 1.5 million at the beginning of the year. Southeast Asia is now its biggest market, with the U.S. coming second, but Path is also seeing some user growth from the Middle East.
The main thing that keeps users coming back, that keeps driving engagement is messaging. Since launching the feature a year ago, it’s been the fastest-growing feature of the app, according to Morin.
That growth comes despite the proliferation of messaging platforms like SnapChat, WhatsApp, Line, Kakao Talk, WeChat, and Facebook Messenger. It’s also despite the fact that Path’s messaging function was mostly hidden in a drawer off to one side of the app.
With the release of Path Talk, the company hopes to correct that by making an app based solely around one of its most popular features. The new messaging app takes advantage of features that the Path team has already built out. For instance, users can connect with their existing Path login credentials.
Path Talk has ambient status updates that let friends know when you’re traveling, when you’re nearby, and when you have a low battery. But it only shows the most recent — and most interesting — updates to friends.
The app enables swipe-based quick replies to enable users to acknowledge messages, or question things that were sent to them. Users can also send stickers, just as they could in the old Path app. It also allows users to easily send links to media, like movies, music, and books, as well as maps, locations, photos, and videos through a single tap.
Path Talk also includes a few new features — like messages that disappear after 24 hours and the option of sending voice messages to other users — that it hopes will set it apart from existing messaging platforms.
But at its core, Path Talk was built as a way for users to quickly express themselves through a combination of text, media, and stickers that its existing users already love.
SOURCE: Ryan Lawler