Path Shame

There was a little-covered feature of the latest release of Path, called “Nudge.”

The part that didn’t get much coverage was actually only part of the Nudge feature. Most of Nudge is simply a way of asking friends to take pictures or say something about what they’re up to right now. Which is great.

But the part that I really like as both a user and an investor: When you look at your friends list it names and shames users who haven’t logged in recently.

Most of my friends are logging in very regularly. But there are exceptions. David Sze (an investor) hasn’t been there for three weeks! Y Combinator partner Harj Taggar – a month! Kevin Marks – 2 months! Mark Pincus (also an investor) – a week! Google+ exec Bradley Horowitz hasn’t stopped by for two months.

On the other hand, most of the Kleiner Perkins partnership seems to be logging on daily. They seem to have way too much leisure time on their hands. As are many others.

It’s the little features like this that give products their personality. There’s just enough stick here to maybe shame users into logging in more often, eventually creating a habit and becoming a more obsessive user. I like it.

31 thoughts on “Path Shame

  1. I noticed this yesterday. Yours seems to be the first post I’ve seen on this. Nice work. A subtle but cool feature.

  2. PatDDixon says:

    The real question is: When did Dave Morin last login before you wrote this post? ;)

  3. David Klein says:

    Wow I expected a negative post with the title “Path Shame.” Surprised.

  4. ricefield says:

    more interesting to me is
    1. you’re friends with mark zuckerburg
    2. apparently he’s pretty active on path
    =P

  5. Hedi Smida says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Excellent response from the Path team to a big problem that all of us experience with Path : once the magic of the first few use is gone, usage of the app fades over time. Hopefully it will help frequent user to engage their friends !
    Finally the great thing about this is that it’s not that creepy, unlike Latitude at his launch for instance.

  6. Rincewind says:

    You sure you haven’t just put up this post to show off your friendslist?

  7. …says the man who hadn’t logged in for 2 weeks until today ;)

  8. Kevin Marks says:

    Path doesn’t draw me back in. The feeling of being surveilled, as with quora, puts me off. This ‘feature’ adds to that. Maybe I’ll go for the not logging in high score.
    Also, the android app doesn’t claim its URLs right, so if I do click a link to path I just get the website, not the app, and the website is a cul de sac like instagram.

    • Michael Arrington says:

      that’s why I have such a limited friend list there, just people I don’t mind “watching” me.

    • nik says:

      Path seem to have no sense of respecting user privacy, and this feature is another instance of that.

      It is about shaming people into coming back to user the service

  9. Do you think investors should be in there everyday? Seems like the founders obviously should be, but investors wouldn’t necessarily have to love using the product to know it’s worth investing in.

    • Michael Arrington says:

      I think the question shouldn’t be should they be there every day, but rather why they aren’t there every day (to fix the product). Another question is why everyone at Kleiner is there all day every day :-)

  10. Stefan says:

    As soon as you notice that a critical mass (or some ppl important to you) does not check in regularly, it’s a reason not to use the product regularly, and so on. I honestly think that’s a pretty bad product decision.

  11. Hi mike, I love path to, but I can’t figure out why to use it instead of facebook. I mean, all my friends use facebook :(

  12. Jon Fisher says:

    Is this your account’s screen shot or the SEC’s?

    Sorry man, you just set it up too perfectly, couldn’t resist. <3

  13. Nir Pear says:

    It’s certainly new, but I’m pretty sure it’ll backfire. Low engagement is nothing to brag about, and I doubt that this attempt at guilt-tripping will be effective on the common user.

  14. Matt sweeney says:

    I love path and all my family are using it to keep up with each other throughout the day. For people saying they dont see why they should use it rather than facebook, for me its about intimacy. I use facebook to catch up with what all my freinds are upto. On path i share moments throughout the day with my close family. Even my 80 year old grandma visits the app every day on her ipad and i can genuinly say path has bought my family closer, even though we live in different parts of the country.

    Imo, if you add more than 10 people pn path, you’re using it wrong.

  15. davidc says:

    I agree that knowing who logged in or not is gossiply important when its the a list of investors and influencers. I doubt it is as useful to the rest of the 99.99% of path audience.

  16. Soma Biswas says:

    oh i love path! fb for me has become a place to only consume – and see what my world is doing. path is where i share real stuff – with my close bunch. if i want to appear smarter, better, slimmer it’s still fb :-) on path, i don’t care how i appear, they know the real me.

  17. This is moderately invasive, although nothing like the paid version of LinkedIn which actually tells you exactly who looks at your profile. I keep waiting to see Arrington look at my profile. But it never happens!

  18. Enh. Shaming, nudging, whatever it’s called would drive me to uninstall Path if I hadn’t already.

  19. Joe Gunter says:

    Investors have to check into Path daily to watch their money go dwon the drain.

  20. Derick Escalante says:

    can you “un-nudge”?????

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