At around 1:15 PM EST on Monday, Path announced it had surpassed the 10 million registered user mark. Path CEO Dave Morin revealed the new figure on Path (of course), along with an image of a counter at 10,000,006 simply titled “Users” at the top.
If you look closely, the picture depicted seems to show a browser displaying an internal website used by the team to track the figure:
A few minutes later, Path confirmed the news via its Twitter account:
10 million users and growing! We’re so excited. twitter.com/path/status/32…
— Path (@path) April 29, 2013
Between then and now, the service has added 7 million users in 10 months. Yet the real growth acceleration has only begun, according to Morin, who recently said 1 million users are joining every week. In other words, the 10 million mark is just a small part of a bigger story.
Like the last growth spurt to pass the 2 million mark, this one seems to be centered on a new version of the app. In December, Path gained a new search feature and in March, version 3.0 with messaging support arrived on the scene.
All of this combined led to people from all around the world inviting their friends to Path, and thus growth in new markets such as Venezuela, Spanish-speaking populations like Central America and Columbia, Mexico, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and then the Spanish-speaking population of the US. “We’ll usually see intense growth and then it moves on to another country,” Morin told the WSJ.
It’s important to emphasize that registered users aren’t all active users for long. Even if it’s adding 1 million users weekly, the real test for Path will be to see if it can retain a solid subset of them (and find a real revenue stream).
Top Image Credit: moniquef12
Go here to read the rest: Path, the private social network, passes 10 million registered users
About a month ago, I wrote about a stealthy company called IronPearl, led by Stan Chudnovsky and James Currier. They were growth hackers before the word “growth hacker” even existed. In fact, they don’t even really like the word “growth hacker.”
For years, Chudnovsky had been advising companies like Goodreads, Path, Wanelo, Poshmark, Lyft and Highlight on how to acquire users. His stealth startup, IronPearl was systematizing that advice. He and his partner have been building a set of optimization tools that will track a user through a site or app and test which combinations work best to keep them coming back after a week or a month — although the goal can be whatever you want it to be.
PayPal, along with GoodReads (which was recently bought by Amazon), were early testers.
Apparently, IronPearl’s product and the pair’s expertise was so valuable that eBay’s PayPal unit decided to just outright buy the company before launch. We hear the price in the “double-digit millions,” although neither company is talking about the price.
With the deal, Chudnovsky becomes Paypal’s vice president of growth while Currier will be a growth advisor. (Currier won’t be coming on full-time.)
“Creating a growth group is foundational for us,” said PayPal president David Marcus. “PayPal has grown to almost 125 million users almost organically, and we’ve never pulled the levers to grow much faster. There are only very few, world-renowned growth hackers in the world and Stan is one of them.”
Chudnovsky and Currier were behind a Web 1.0 company called Tickle that did personality quizzes and tests. It was later acquired by job site Monster for about $100 million. He then got into gaming and sold Wonderhill to midcore developer Kabam. Then he got into advising before starting IronPearl.
“The main reason I decided to sell is because I’ve built companies before,” Chudnovsky said. “I know what that path looks like. When you look at something like PayPal, it’s different. It’s more of a marketplace than just a sheer network. There are merchants and people transacting with each other.”
Chudnovsky will lead a growth team that will focus on building out PayPal’s customer base beyond 123 million registered users.
Pimply delivery boys will need to find a new way to make money in France: the province of Auvergne will pilot a drone newspaper delivery service in May. The official postal service, La Poste Group, has already been beta-testing the automated delivery service with 20 hornet-looking unmanned aerial vehicles. This is not an April Fool’s joke.
FedEx has been a vocal proponent of a drone-powered delivery service, and the FAA has been steadily approving regulations to permit commercial drones by fall of 2015. If this happens, say goodbye to the harkening of spring by sexy UPS men in short shorts.
At least one state, Virginia, is on the path to place a two-year moratorium on law-enforcement drones, but that doesn’t seem like it’ll derail FedEx’s plan for an army of automated delivery drones.
While the morning paper is nice, I can’t wait for the taco-delivery service, Tacocopter. Even though this flavor fairy was a hoax (which fooled The Colbert Report), we hope it’ll be a reality soon.
Originally posted here: Drones Will Deliver The Morning Paper In France
Earlier today, the private social network Path released a major update to its service. We had a chance to speak with founder Dave Morin and he tells us that the introduction of instant messaging and “The Shop” are a major initiative for them; he also revealed that a planned subscription-based service will launch during the first half of 2013.
Morin says Path strives to be a private place for families and friends. Even while the company was flushing out the details of its instant messaging service, he says the focus remained on maintaining user privacy. To that end, users can engage in one-on-one conversations or have group messaging with up to 15 people. The important thing to note is that messages are not limited to just those on a user’s friend list, but rather include friends of friends too.
Interestingly, Morin revealed that a subscription service — first announced at DLD in January – will launch in the first half of 2013. That’s more color than the former Facebook and Apple exec has provided before — previously, we knew it was arriving sometime this year — and, combined with today’s launches, it will see Path beef up its monetization streams considerably.
It coincided the launch for SXSW because Morin says the team believes the addition of instant messaging would be particularly well received at the event. Path says that messaging has been one of the most requested features from its users — some have often asked Morin why they could not direct message someone absent of leaving a comment or a thought on their Path.
A slightly hidden feature of the instant messaging is the “hai” option. When someone sends a message to a user and they want to acknowledge that they’ve read it, instead of saying “okay, got it” or typing anything else, the users can simply tap on a button to enable the “hai” feature and it will take care of it for them.
Also released in the update is the addition of “The Shop”, a premium service filled with stickers and photo filters. Morin tells us that the stickers are not just for decoration or to flood your friend’s timeline with artwork from nine of the Internet’s popular artists. Rather, it was implemented because Path believes stickers can communicate better than text. It allows users to express themselves through a more emotional way. And no, these are not going to replace the always popular emoticons in the app.
In our earlier post, we theorized that the question that needed to be answered is whether this kind of support will make a real monetary difference for Path, which will need a sustainable source of revenue if it is to survive. Morin says that stickers are not the primary form of revenue for the service. Rather it’s just another avenue — it’s already earning money from premium photo filters and the subscription is imminent.
We also asked Morin about Path’s userbase. Besides having more than 6 million users now, its average age group is at least 25 years old. However, it is starting to see more growth in the United States among a younger audience, specifically those in high school and college.
Just in time for SXSW, Path 3.0 will certainly make things interesting as people are able to share photos and experiences with each other without risk of having it shared to the world accidentally. Oh, and speaking of parties, we asked Morin about a supposed party in Austin called “Club 150″, but he declined to answer.
Photo credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images
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Path’s 2012 included a major hiccup when it was discovered in February last year that the app uploaded user address books in their entirety to its servers. The company quickly responded by deleting the data and apologizing for the transgression, but the damage was done: The FTC levied charges against the startup, and today the government body has announced the results of those proceedings in the form of a settlement (as spotted by TNW).
Path has agreed to pay an $800,000 fee for “allegedly collecting kids’ personal information without their parents’ consent,” since it violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act in gathering personal information from around 3,000 kids who were under the age of 13, without requiring parental sign-off. In addition to the charge for the COPPA violation, Path will also be implementing a “comprehensive privacy program,” which includes a requirement that it conduct privacy assessments from external, disinterested third-party sources every other year.
FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz (who announced his resignation yesterday) emphasized that this settlement with Path exemplifies the agency’s commitment to keeping up with consumer privacy complaints even in the face of changing technology.
“Over the years the FTC has been vigilant in responding to a long list of threats to consumer privacy, whether it’s mortgage applications thrown into open trash dumpsters, kids information culled by music fan websites, or unencrypted credit card information left vulnerable to hackers,” he’s quoted as saying in a release. “This settlement with Path shows that no matter what new technologies emerge, the agency will continue to safeguard the privacy of Americans.”
For a large company like Facebook or Google, an $800,000 fine would essentially be a slap on the wrist. But to a startup like Path that, despite having raised some $40 million in venture capital, still doesn’t have a firm revenue model in place, it’s a more significant deterrent measure. The FTC also took the opportunity to introduce a new set of guidelines for mobile developers, in which it provides helpful info about how other mobile apps can avoid running afoul of consumer privacy in the same way as Path in the future.