Path, the Facebook-like social network which only wants you to connect with family and close friends, that is designed specifically for mobile devices, is releasing a new version for iOS and Android today. The update contains only one new addition: The ability to search your feed, pulling up photos, checkins and other stuff which you and your family/friends have posted in the past.

The Path search feature pulls information from several different items of information, including:

  • The location where you created them
  • The time of day
  • The people tagged in them
  • How your friends reacted to them
  • The type of business establishments associated with them (e.g. restaurant, movie theater, concert, etc)

If this sounds neat, that’s because it is. But is it neat enough to get people using Path?

The problem with Path, as Sarah Lacy pointed out so eloquently, no one is on or using Path. And if no one is using the app, how will a search feature help? Well, Path apparently thought that through a bit and allows people to import their Facebook, foursquare, and Instagram data into the app making all of that searchable as well. A nice touch.

Make no mistake, Path’s new search feature is more than just a simple search — it’s an intimate way to relive or share moments in your life. If you really think about it, it’s actually what Facebook’s Timeline should aspire to become. And therein lies the problem for Path. Once Facebook does this, it could be very difficult for Path to compete.

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Currently the one thing Path has going for it is that it’s the only social company with this type of feature. It’s also its own company and doesn’t have any so-called enemies, making it easier to play nice with the other social giants. After all, the name of the game here is data and if Path is allowed to continue to tap into Facebook, foursquare, and Instagram’s data for its own purposes, they could have something here.

If you download the app and don’t see the search feature right away, don’t panic: Path says it’s going to roll it out incrementally and you should have it soon.


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