This post was originally answered by myself on Quora. I have edited it for this post.
Path is different from other social networking products in that Path is designed for specific individuals in your network, aka those closest to you. Most social networks focus on broad access and wide distribution in a user’s circles. Path takes a different approach and focuses on depth over breath.
The challenge of adding specific people over anyone in your network is steep and complex. This core meta-product concept narrows the width of the funnel. The number of possible options is small thus conversion rates must be strong and re-engagement messaging is essential for growth. As a funnel narrows, the number of points of contact and the life-time viral cycle lengthens.
Path’s core acquisition strategy is using users to propel both engagement and acquisition.
- Invites - In Path 2.5, Path focused a lot of effort on personalizing invites like we have never seen before in other mobile applications. Path utilizes a contextual based friend listing system to organize invitees (which I previously wrote about). A user’s invite listing is also based upon their address book, placing a higher ranking common family names like “mom” and “dad”, and Facebook lists. Invites to Path are sent via email, text message, and Facebook.
Path invites can be highly personalized with a voice recording or a written message.
Below is the invite landing page.
- Tagging (“I’m with”) - A Path user can tag the people he or she in the real world regardless if they are a Path user. Path utilizes Facebook friends and address book to pull in this list. Tagging a non-Path user sends a notification via email or text once the moment is shared in a user’s Path.
The following landing page is created. If you tag a non-user, they will see this page in their web browser or email.
- Platform Posting - Path users can post on a third party social network simultaneously as posting on their Path. This feature is somewhat discouraged as Path requires users to check each social network every time they want to post externally. These external posts contain links back to Path’s home page.
- Path.com - Path’s home page has some interesting conversion flows. Signups to Path are sent via text-message over email. Email adds an extra step in the funnel. The Path homepage is optimized for design. It is not optimized for growth.
- Paid Ads - Path has experiment with some paid ads on design social networks, such as Dribbble. This is not a highly leveraged channel.
- PR - Path also uses the press as a channel with stories about https://www.google.com/search?q=…) and Path’s incredible design (see Google News search
It should be noted, that the bullet points above only mention trackable channels. Path relies heavily on word of mouth. Mobile virality has taken a “step back” from web virality regarding the ability to track user behavior. Path assumes that since you are around the people who should be on Path on a regular basis that the word will spread.