Path: The Path to a Limited Social Network is Here

With recent speculation about what social networks have done to the word "friendship" and what it means, Path has been revealed as an exclusive "personal network." A former  executive at Facebook and Apple, Dave Morin seeks to change your social media world by making it more personal. His new company Path launched a new photo-centric social service last week as an iPhone app which allows you a maximum of 50 friends only.

In related news, Jimmy Kimmel will surely be pleased with this new app. in lieu of his request for National Unfriend Day! With Path you can heave a sigh of relief, take photos and share  those with people who are really your friends. Amongst their primary goals is to dislodge the fear that online friendships leave people too vulnerable- which is one of the reasons behind the limited number of contacts. Path focuses on photo-sharing using mobile devices while allowing users to share not just pictures but also memories and daily happenings via their iPhone or iPod touch. The Path app is free and now available worldwide.

According to a report on BBC: "Path arrived at the idea of limiting users to a network of 50 people following research done by Oxford University Professor of Evolutionary Psychology Robin Dunbar. He espoused that 150 is the maximum number of social relationships that the human brain can sustain at a given time and that 50 is roughly the outer boundary of our personal networks. Facebook's approach and that of other social networks from Bebo to MySpace and Google Buzz is at odds with that thinking. While the average user on Facebook has 130 connections, power users can average 1,000."

So it's simple and here is how Path works: Sign up for the service then build your list of friends using e-mail addresses or phone numbers. Then, take photos with an iPhone, upload  and tag people, places and things. The idea is that with time, these photos create a "path" of your life. Some of its settings also let you control which of your friends see any particular photograph, and you can monitor who has looked at any particular photo. Also, you can view your friends' locations on a map of the world and see what they have posted.So you can get even more exclusive with it and friends who may also be part-time stalkers, beware!

"We know that if you are sharing with a single person you do not trust, you will not feel comfortable sharing. So we've build the personal network model to keep you in control, always," claims a blog post on Path's website .

"You usually have about five people whom you trust most, 20 whom you consider your BFFs that you hang out with all the time and about 50 or so who are your personal network," said Morin, co-founder and chief executive of Path. "Path is built for that." Path is designed to "ride alongside" other social media services rather than replace them and "the idea here is that you always control who you're sharing with and you can tell the story of your life to your closest friends and family" he said.

A free app for Path will be coming to Android phones and the BlackBerry soon said the company and at a later date it will also be adding premium services that users can pay for. If you are flooded with too much information from people who really aren't worth your time, you might want to take this path!

Photo Credit: Path Website