14 June 2013

Path Taking A Page Out The Hi5 And Tagged Book Of User Acquisition

Path App Logo

According to Valleywag. There is enough evidence to suggest with a pretty good level of certainty that Path is using several spamming techniques and buying Facebook Advertising to acquire users; which is a bit ironic. Since Path is that app that provides you with a personal and private (in theory) social messaging network via their mobile app. App that has yet to reach Windows Phone or Windows Metro for reasons only David Morin knows.

Did Path Cheat Its Way to The Top?

It is an amusing read, so check it out. Also one of the times where a headline ask a question and the answer is YES! What I have to add on this is that the techniques they are using are almost a carbon copy of how HI5 and Tagged managed to pass over the 100 million registrations. Eventually they even gained enough momentum that they were quite relevant in many countries. Including Mexico. That I can affirm as very true. But then Twitter kept creeping into the mainstream, Facebook kept growing, Google chipped in with Google+ and Mobile Apps took on a lot of relevancy. Then as they were on a downfall, eventually they became one company with two brand fronts and pseudo-pivoted by adding social gaming features that are quite annoying and pointless.

Anyway, from years ago, i remember been spammed on an almost daily basis by both every time someone in my contacts lists had joined into one of them.  Such a thing is only possible if they spammed the entire address book of each new user. At one point I even remember receiving a few SMS ads for HI5.

Apart from that, if you ever visited a popular MySpace page or at that time the still popular Bebo or Netlog you would see without fail an ad for Tagged or HI5.  Path just took it up another notch by apparently even paying for in-app ads for other social apps.  How do I can know that? I remember seen one of those, in a Windows Phone app, which is kind of bizarre given that the damn app is not on Windows Phone or Windows 8. These odd results in ad targeting are probably not entirely Path fault but of whatever company or companies they hired to do campaigning for them. Which highlights how easy is to burn money and not get excellent results. Even then, they have managed to get over 10 million users on board which is remarkable given how saturated both the social messaging networks and private messaging app spaces are. Ok, WAS remarkable until you see how much they are spending on acquiring users.

The takeaway from this story is that not everything that looks successful is actually a success. Path is just like that neighbor with the fancy house, car and clothes that actually don’t owns anything and could end up homeless within months if they ever lost their job. Only that in this case it ends with an app stepping into software oblivion.





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