“Path” Photo Sharing App Has Big Backers, But Will It Stick?

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There’s a new photo sharing service in town. Path, available initially for iPhone, makes the idea of social networking an images-only affair and limits your network to just 50 people. The result is a “place you will always feel comfortable being yourself and sharing the story of your life with your closest friends and family,” according to the company’s blog post.

Though photo sharing features are currently limited to iPhone and iPod Touch devices, outsiders can join Path via its web site to view photos posted by others. And aside from the 50-friend limit, one of the more unique aspects of Path is that you can see who’s looking at your shared photos in real time.

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Like any new social networking service, Path will face the chicken/egg conundrum of getting people to use it when none of their friends or family members may be on it yet. The company sports an A-list of Silicon Valley investors and even counts Ashton Kutcher as one of its backers, according to All Things Digital, so it’s got a far better chance than most startups.

It’s got deep pockets, too, thanks to those investors. Path’s Dave Morin (formerly of Facebook) told All Things Digital, “We really prioritize slow organic growth over hyper-viral growth and going after influencers to build this really steep graph. We are building Path to be a 30-year brand.”

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Whether Path catches on with regular people remains to be seen. You can appreciate the appeal that something like this might have to an uber-celebrity like Ashton Kutcher or anyone who really wants to share photos with a tightly-controlled group of people. For the rest of us, there’s Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, and several other services that offer private or semi-private sharing.

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