Photo: Mark Evans via Flickr
Photo-sharing app Path has come out with a new, sure to be controversial feature: video sharing — limited to 10 seconds, the company announced in a blog post.Path is a very interesting contender in the space, founded by Silicon Valley demigods Shawn Fanning (Napster co-founder) and Dave Morin (key Facebook exec behind Platform and Connect). We like Path because it’s always followed its own path (sorry).
But the most headline grabbing mobile photo-sharing app these days is Instagram, which has added a million users in a crazy-short two months. Even though it clearly can be huge, we really don’t like the app.
Path’s founders, on the other hand, clearly have a vision about the future of photo sharing — and therefore, social networking. Only time will tell if that vision was correct, but it’s great to see two entrepreneurs go for it with vision and ambition.
The first controversial move from the company was to only allow you to have 50 friends on the service, to keep photo sharing personal and intimate. The Silicon Valley digerati went nuts, shouting they didn’t “get it”, but we called it a smart and bold move.
The latest move, 10-second videos, is sure to get some heads turning as well. The precedent here isn’t encouraging: a “video Twitter” service called 12seconds.tv (you can probably guess what the company did from its name) failed. That said, 10 second videos might make more sense on mobile, where people generally take shorter video snippets and uploading long videos without wi-fi is a pain.
Again, only time will tell whether 10 seconds videos on mobile are a good idea or not, but at least these entrepreneurs are making bold moves. In 2006, everyone laughed at the idea of public 140 character messages.
We’ll be watching Path with great interest.
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