Will Path become the social media site of 2012?
While you may believe that Instagram is the hottest social media tool at the moment, there is one website rising up through the ranks – Path.
Ex-Apple and long-time Facebook employee Dave Morin launched the site with Napster creator Shawn Fanning in November 2010 and the site has slowly gained momentum since.
One key point of difference is that Path limits each user's social network to 150 connections – a decision based on psychology research that suggested people have a maximum workable number of social contacts.
"Our long-term grand vision here is to build a network that is very high quality and that people feel comfortable contributing to at any time," Morin told the Wall Street Journal last year (March 11 2011).
While the site was intended to accompany Facebook and other social network platforms, a re-release late last year saw the site – along with an iPhone and Android app – pitched as a mobile "smart journal".
The app also learns a user's habits – such as regularly visited places – and can recognise deviations in patterns and broadcast them, automatically updating the journal.
Social media experts are singing the site's praises.
"Imagine a social network that combines the voyeurism of Facebook with the visual intimacy of Instagram, the real-time newsreel of Twitter with the exclusiveness of a backyard barbecue," Gizmodo contributor Mat Honan wrote (January 2 2012).
"It exists. It's Path."
Forbes magazine contributor Benoit Raphael believes that Path brings a breath of fresh air to the social media scene.
"Now I’m using it more than Facebook and Instagram," he wrote (January 11 2012).
"Why? First, because the user experience is really cool. Second, because it helps me share moments of my life with my close friends and interact with them in way that’s more fun."
While it's still early days, user numbers are growing – and Path has the rest of 2012 to take out the top spot in the social media world.