Path introduces private sharing, premium subscription options


Path is overhauling its social networking application for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, adding new private sharing features as well as a premium-priced subscription option.

Path limits social networks to 150 contacts, a move to guarantee users are interacting solely with the people closest to them. The new Path version 3.2 introduces Private Sharing, which lets users exchange comments and content with one or any number of friends on an ad hoc basis. "After capturing a moment, tap the lock on the sharing screen," Path explains. "Keep the moment private for your eyes only, or tap the prompt to select friends to share it with. Your friends will know if they have been shared in a private moment by the lock in place of the usual 'seen-it smile.' By looking at the moment's 'seen-its,' your friends will also be able to tell who else has been included."

Path 3.2 also touts Inner Circle, a tool for instantly sharing content with designated groups like family members, teammates or colleagues. Users add contacts to their Inner Circle by tapping the stars next to their names in the Friends List. "While in the sharing screen, tap the star to share with those most important, instantly," Path states. "Your friends will know that they are in your Inner Circle by the star in the top corner of the moment."

Path 3.2 additionally brings Path Premium, which promises ad-free, all-you-can-eat access to digital stickers, photo filters and other features. The service costs $14.99 per year--users may also opt to spend $1.99 for a one-month subscription on Android or $4.99 for a three-month subscription on iOS.

Path Product Manager Cynthia Samanian told CNet the firm will release a new sticker pack each week, concurrently developing new photo filters. "We hear from our users that they want Path to be around for years," Samanian said. "They want to give us their money."

In related news, Path announced a strategic partnership with Deutsche Telekom. The German operator giant will preload the app on four Android smartphones, giving subscribers one year of free Path Premium access.

Path came under fire last year for uploading users' address books to its servers without their express consent. In February 2013, the Federal Trade Commission fined the startup $800,000 for violating the privacy of its underage users. Path again courted controversy this May after users said the app texted and called their contacts without permission.

For more:
- read this Path blog post
- read this CNet article
- read this release

Related articles:
Sprint to feature Path on Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One and Torque
Path again under fire for spamming users with texts, robocalls
FTC fines Path $800,000 for privacy breach, issues new mobile guidelines
Report: Path closes $40M Series B round led by Redpoint Ventures
Controversial Path app coming to Microsoft's Windows Phone
Path admits mistake, allows users to opt out of contacts database