Social Media with a Refined Focus

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Earlier this week, many Facebook users celebrated “International Unfriend Day” by culling their social networking profiles of unwanted or unknown “friends” whom they no longer want to be connected with. As more modest Facebook users will attest to, it does seem somewhat far-fetched that any single person could have real friends numbering into the thousands, though their profiles suggest otherwise. Indeed, recent surveys have shown that many social networking users are perplexed, disappointed or plain disgusted with social networking etiquette.

The oft-perceived tendency toward shameless self-interest, self-promotion or good old-fashioned narcissism amongst certain overzealous social networking users has become something of a hot topic in recent months. Reports suggest that this type of online behaviour has left many users of established social media platforms looking for a more “friendly” alternative; one which more closely reflects their offline personalities and patterns of social interaction.

Enter “Path”, a decidedly minimalist social network, one which limits the number of “friends” one is able to have to just 50, encouraging a discerning attitude towards “friending” than the come one and all approach favoured by domains like Twitter and Facebook. The limitations on friend numbers placed on Path users are counteracted by the kind of sharing they are capable of.

Path is available only to those who own smartphones equipped with cameras, and the free hosting of photos, text and geographical updates is limited to close friends and family, emphasizing intimacy and social selectivity rather than inauspicious inclusion of complete strangers for perceived personal gain.

Path developers include ex Facebook and Napster heads intent on bending the social networking model to the realities of the social world, rather than the other way around. Thus far the site has received considerable press and, though figures on recent sign ups and current user numbers are not yet available, it is thought that the network has enjoyed relative success thus far.

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