Despite the conventional wisdom these days that the broader sharing options you have, the better, Path set out to take the opposite road. 50 friend limits. No outside sharing features. No Facebook. No Twitter. That changed a few months later when selective Facebook sharing was added to the mix. But still, the massive public sharing tool was nowhere to be found: Twitter. And it’s still not — in Path itself. Instead, the team has built an entirely new app for that: With.
With is Path’s acknowledgement that people love sharing photos and who they’re with on Twitter. But again, they just don’t see that sharing mechanism as a part of Path itself. When the team held a hackathon several weeks ago to come up with other interesting ideas, With was an obvious first child. And that’s interesting since Twitter itself was born in a similar manner, as a hacked-up side-project at Odeo.
The core concept behind With is similar to Path: sharing moments. But unlike the limited sharing of Path, the only way to use With is to connect it to your Twitter account — in fact, they use Twitter login. Once you do that, you do one of two things: share who you are with by tagging their @names, or share a picture of who you’re with using the same tagging mechanism. The photos can use the same filters (both free and paid) currently found on Path itself.
Path co-founder Dave Morin talks about the importance of maintaining quality networks, and believe that while different, Twitter offers a powerful “interaction network”. Or, in Path parlance, a “With Graph”.
Using With, the friends who you tag most often quickly populate your With Graph by rising to the top of your profile. The idea is eventually to give these friends “special benefits” as well — think: friendship levels and badges with more to come, Morin says.
To be clear, Path remains the main focus of the team. With will remain a side project (unless, of course, it explodes in popularity like, say, Twitter). And Morin won’t rule out other side projects (or Path “Shorts” as he calls them). It all depends on the hackathons — which Path is now doing about once a month. The only rule of these is that you can’t work on what you’re been working on (an idea borrowed from Facebook).
And With will be integrated with Path in the coming weeks, we’re told.
One more thing: because With is already using Twitter’s new single sign-on capabilities, when iOS 5 hits, you’ll be able to launch With right after you download it and be ready to go. No login required. No wonder Morin was happy yesterday.
You can find With in the App Store here. It’s a free download.