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Path launches photo-sharing app for ‘personal networks’

You can’t fling an angry bird on the App Store right now without hitting a few dozen social photo-sharing apps. Services like Instagram and Picplz are getting investors and tech blogs equally hot under the collar, but now they’ve been joined by Path.

Don’t look for it on the App Store if you’re here in the UK – it appears to be US-only for now. However, you can read about it in the company’s introductory blog post, which explains its concept of ‘personal networks’.

Which are? Your 50 closest friends and family members, rather than the hundreds of people you’ve blithely added on Facebook, or the motley collection of friends, work contacts and spam accounts following you on Twitter.

Path thinks that when it comes to personal photos, you’ll be happy keeping it down to 50 people. It lets you tag pics with places, people and ‘thing’ – what you’re doing – while also letting you see when your contacts have viewed each pic.

It looks slick and elegant, and shies away from the soon-to-become-tiresome retro visual filters of some of its rivals. However, my big worry is this: what if my closest friends and family aren’t on Path? They’re all on Facebook, posting their pics there, and tend to be fairly resistant to me telling them about some new-fangled social app they should be using instead (witness: Foursquare).

Path’s blog post stresses that “we’ll help you share with those who aren’t yet on Path”, so it seems the developers are aware of this issue. Here’s hoping they launch it in the UK soon, so we can get a better idea of how it works, and whether it will succeed.

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