Body language. Did you know it accounts for about 50% of conversation? Tonality makes up about 38% and words, 7%, apparently. I’m not so sure about putting numbers to these things, but in any case the proportions are interesting.
I read an article just today as well, about how the Path app has a “consistency of tone” compared to other social networking apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The conclusion I’ve come to is what makes Path so special isn’t its limited friend count. It’s not its beautiful design (which I dug into a few months ago). What I’ve realized is so special about Path for me is the consistency of tone.
When I open Path, I’m seeing experiences people are having. Some of those experiences are checking into a new place. Some are posting a photo. Some are listening to music. Some are going for a run. But for the most part, they’re all experiences. And they all have a common tone, meaning they all feel like part of the same story. Everyone has their own storyline, but together, everyone’s moments merge together into a consistent shared biography.
To further illustrate this, let me summarize the newest 8 updates for 4 different social networks:
Facebook. A barrage of whatever can be crammed into a single newsfeed.
- 3 friends liked a new app that I’d never heard of and had no relevancy to me.
- Photo of my nieces
- Picture of a friend’s family at an event
- Photo of George Clooney from Vanity Fair
- Copy of photo strip from an event
- Link to a photo of the leader board from the world series of poker
- Link about MOG being acquired by Beats
- Picture of a bottle of Vodka
Twitter. A stream of extremely useful and extremely random information.
- A company retweeting something nice someone said about them
- A blog post a friend posted
- A retweet of someone I don’t know announcing they will be a conference I’m not going to (in Spain)
- A friend complaining that birds defecated on her freshly washed car
- A friend tweeting how cigarettes lower life expectancy by 28 days per pack
- A retweet of someone linking to an article about Higgs Boson
- A retweet of someone giving away t-shirts
- Someone announcing they would be at a conference in England
Instagram. Beautiful photos in a consistant format, yet inconsistent content.
- Person dressed in stars and stripes on stilts
- Harbor in France
- Dog wearing sweatshirt
- Outside a gym
- Inside a gym
- Masts of ships
Path. The personal moments of friends experiencing life.
- A friend going for a run
- A friend checking into the Google Shuttle stop with his girlfriend
- A friend arriving in Cambridge, MA
- A co-worker checking into our new office
- A friend taking her pets to the vet
- A friend checking into breakfast (with a comment from his girlfriend attached)
- A photo of a friend on a farm in Virginia
- A friend waking up in the Mount Tam area
Although the content in Path might seem more monotonous, what makes it really unique is the content is so consistent. It’s all friends sharing experiences. It’s not them sharing what they’ve read, or some photo they found in a magazine, or an article about their company. It’s personal moments.
I have to say I’ve never been a fan of Path. I still have it on my phone but I never open the app up even to see what my friends are posting there because most of the time, they’ve cross-posted to the more popular (and more public) networks – which I do check compulsively when I’m not better occupied. But this article might raise some interesting links connecting the app’s ‘style’, with their resulting popularity. Basically – is this all true? If so how will Path leverage on this? Why isn’t Path more popular then? Do we prefer to wade through unnecessary noise?
I have spent the last eight weeks at advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s Singapore office as a bright-eyed Barner; my team and I have been working on something we’d like everyone to give a shit about. Heh. The big reveal is coming up in less than a week — anticipate!
(+ read the rest of that article about Path here)