Social Apps Versus Facebook

There was a time when Myspace was everyone’s social networking site of choice, then Facebook came along, and since its birth, there has been no better site to update your friends on your life — until now. With popular social apps, Path and Instagram, users can share their location, photos and status updates — so why do we still need a Facebook?
Dubbed as “the little social app that could,” by ByteNow, Path allows users to post photos and status updates, check in places, tag friends that you’re with and even tell your friends what kind of music you’re listening to. But that’s not all; you can also alert your friends when you go to sleep and when you wake up by clicking the crescent moon option — something you can’t do on your Facebook.
In addition, the social app has a “neighborhood” option, a feature exclusive to Path that can be turned off, which automatically alerts friends where you are.

Sound a little crazy and maybe a little stalker-esque? Here’s the catch: you’re not updating all 784 friends that you have on Facebook. Path limits the number of friends you can have to 150, giving the social networking site a more personal and intimate feel, as the majority, if not all, of your friends are either close or related to you.

Also, the only personal information you share on Path, aside from your first and last name, is your phone number, birthday and picture — all of which you are not required to provide.

According to, 150 is the “Dunbar Number — a theoretical limit to the number of connections you can meaningfully track at any time.”

The Path app, called “the smart journal that helps you share life with the ones you love” by its team of developers — which includes former Facebook employee, Dave Morin and Napster founder, Shawn Fanning — is available on both the iPhone and Android.

Instagram, iPhone’s photo-sharing app, soon to be made available on Android, allows users to take photos, add effects and share them with followers — a feature that Facebook does not have.

Similar to Instagram, Path allows you to change the hue of your photo before you post it. However, the lack of options users have to change the effects of their photos on Path, has most people resorting to Instagram to share their photos.

With the Instagram app, users can view, comment and “like” photos from people they follow including those that make the “popular page,” a collage of photos with the most “likes.” Users also have the option of making their photos private and personalizing their Instagram page by adding a bio and/or website.

While Facebook combines most of these features into one giant social networking site, it doesn’t have the same intimate feel like that of Path and Instagram. Of course the question remains: Could these apps become real Facebook competitors or will their popularity be short-lived?

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