When it comes to app updates, Path says bigger is better


When it comes to mobile apps, most of us are pretty used to updating our phones to get small, iterative changes on almost a constant basis. Whether it’s slightly smaller margins on pages in the Kindle app or the ability to like an Instagram photo from the desktop, news of small changes to our favorite apps have become commonplace.

But Dave Morin, co-founder and CEO of Path, said Tuesday at the MobileBeat conference in San Francisco that it’s taking a different tactic when it comes to updates, inspired by the company’s belief that consumers want big, dramatic changes on a less-frequent basis rather than small changes on a more constant basis.

Path launched in 2010 as a photo-sharing app for the iPhone, based on Morin’s experience working with Facebook(s fb) on Facebook Connect. It allowed a user to share photos between himself and 50 friends.

But Morin said the team quickly noticed that users were trying to do more with Path than just upload photos — they were taking screenshots of songs they were listening to, inspirational notes in the notes app or check-ins with friends and then uploading those screenshots to Path.

“If I learned one thing working at Facebook, it’s that if users are trying to do one thing with your app, you should get out of their way,” he said.

Rather than making small changes to the app as it went along, the company totally re-launched with Path 2 in November, creating a journal-like experience for users and integrating the ability to share updates that users had been doing previously with screenshots.

Morin says the Path team believes that users will wait for massive changes on their favorite products, and that small changes “don’t move the needle at all,” he said.

So what does this mean we can expect from Path?

“We’ve been working on a big release for the past few months,” Morin says. “We’ll go and do it again this year.”



I’m working on a blog about Path right now and I’m curious if you think there is any way for a business to use this app? It seems very private and not at all open to advertising, am I right?


I want to see these new social networks to release OpenID/oAuth protocols of their sites, that will boost their user engagement, especially after advent of third party social authentication providers (like LoginRadius) which simplify the whole process.

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