Path App Poster Image

Path

(i)

 

Fascinating social network focuses on 150 closest friends.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn how to set and maintain healthy information-sharing boundaries in the world of social networking by sharing more personal information with limited people on Path and less personal information with more people via other social networks they link to their Path account. Teens can also practice conveying messages effectively with multiple forms of expression, and friendship building. Used appropriately, Path can help teens learn the art of appropriate, selective information sharing with various circles of family, friends, school or professional contacts, and acquaintances.

Ease of play

Very easy to use. Simple, structured, and well-organized user interface.The app helps users quickly begin to build their 150 friends allowed on Path by connecting with their phone's contacts list, Gmail, and other social media accounts (optional). 

Violence

Content depends on users' posts; Path Terms of Use state that content may not contain material that is "threatening ... harassing, hateful...or encourages conduct that would be considered a criminal offense" or violate any law or is "otherwise inappropriate."

Sex

Content depends on users' posts; Path Terms of Use state that content may not contain pornographic material or anything that is "inappropriate."

Language

Content depends on users' posts; Path Terms of Use state that content may not contain anything "harassing, hateful, racially or ethnically offensive" or otherwise "inappropriate."

 

Consumerism

Unlike Facebook, this social network does not include brand pages or fan groups. Photo filters and stickers can be purchased in-app (some are free).

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Content depends on users' posts; Path Terms of Use state that content may not contain anything that "encourages conduct that would be considered a criminal offense" or violate any law, or is "otherwise inappropriate."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Path is an interesting development in the world of social networking apps like Facebook and Twitter. On Path, users select a maximum of 150 "high-quality" friends with which to interact, post "moments," share media, and message individual users privately. Path also acts as a sort of clearinghouse for users' larger social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare, Instagram, and Tumblr. Path users can send info they post on Path to their accounts on the larger social networks like Facebook, or they can import posts from elsewhere to Path. In this way, Path is hoping users keep it as their primary social networking app and share most personal info with those 150 people closest to them, and become more choosy as they fan out to other social networking sites. Path has a lot of promise for more deliberate personal information sharing. Still, there are some concerns with privacy, as teens' location is tracked for the automatic neighborhood feature (it can be turned off), and teen Path accounts must be set to private in privacy settings or that info is automatically public. Overall, Path is a beautiful app with a fascinating concept that has (as with most social networking apps) some privacy and safety concerns. 

What's it about?

Sign up for an account on Path, and choose whether you want to link to your device's contact list as well as the social media account that you want this app to connect with in order to find your 150 friends. Enter a profile and photo, as well as a background image to represent your account. Then start sharing "moments," messaging, liking other posts, and crossposting to other social networking accounts. Posts can be searched, and photo filters and stickers can be purchased (some are free). Lots to share and find on this innovative app.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Path is unquestionably a beautiful app, much better looking and well-designed than other social networking apps. Its 150-friend limit -- based on research that people have a maximum number of significant social relationships -- seems like a great idea for more meaningful online interaction. Especially when paired with the feature that users can disseminate posts to their other social media accounts from Path when they choose to share some posts more widely with more acquaintances, this sort of filter just makes sense.

Whether most teens will warm to this idea is the question. Part of the draw to Facebook for peer-focused teens is having zillions of friends and as many "likes" as possible on their posts and photos. Still, easier media sharing (like music), recording private voice messages, and the search feature, as well as some of the other more quirky features -- like the ability to not just "like" posts but also to use smile, laugh, gasp, frown, or love emoticons -- may win many teens over to Path. With the right use of privacy settings and the awareness that there may be good reasons to share personal information, even just daily happenings, with people truly closer to you in real life, Path may be a useful evolution in social media apps. 

Families can talk about...

  • Talk to your teens about using the appropriate privacy settings for their Path accounts, as well as safe information sharing across social media.

  • Ask your teen: Who are your closest friends you would include on a "limited" social media account? Why do you consider them close friends?

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
Skills:Communication: conveying messages effectively, friendship building, multiple forms of expression
Tech Skills: social media
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:May 3, 2013
Category:Social Networking
Size:24.10 MB
Version:3.0.4
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later; Android varies with device

This review of Path was written by

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bycalebz June 16, 2014

path

great for familie
What other families should know
Safety and privacy concerns
Parent Written bychristinefugitt June 7, 2016

I'm really lost

The site was about the path app and went to children. I hate the path app. It's worthless and no good. I have kids but I have no clue what you want me to review.

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