Path announced that it has sold its flagship messaging apps to Korea’s Daum Kakao today, but the company has retained one interesting part of its business: its Places business-to-consumer messaging service. That’s according to Daum Kakao, which confirmed to TechCrunch that it didn’t acquire that asset.
Update: It looks like Places is headed to the deadpool. Path confirmed to TechCrunch that it is “not currently ready to make the investment to build out a new app for the feature,” and therefore it has been “disabled.” The full statement is at the bottom of this post.
To recap, Path Talk was the standalone messaging app that the company released last year to allow Path users to communicate without the clutter of a social network. (In the same way that Facebook has Messenger.) The service become a whole lot more interesting when Path added Places, a feature that allowed Path Talk users to communicate with local restaurants and shops inside the app — either through direct conversation with staff or via a team of Path employees who’d act as a liaison.
Path Talk Places never become mainstream, but it enjoyed a loyal following among those who used it, many of whom were likely anxious that the service was sold off. Daum Kakao said that “nearly everything you have come to love about Path and Path Talk will remain as is,” but things looked bad when the Places feature stopped working with Path Talk following the announcement of this deal. However, that’s because Daum Kakao owns Path Talk and Path owns Places and they are not working together.
The Path business has moved towards becoming a multi-app studio — it recently released GIF creation app Kong — and that suggests that we could we see Places resurrected as a new, standalone service managed by Path. Particularly since Path CEO David Morin has always been hugely optimistic about the service — which slots into his “apps the new features” philosophy — while the communications infrastructure, so often the hardest part of business-consumer services, is in place in the U.S., Australia and many parts of Europe already.
We’ve reached out to Path for comment on the future of Places, but fans of the service have reason to be optimistic.
Update: Here’s Path’s statement:
Daum Kakao acquired Path Talk and not Path Places. Therefore we no longer have a home for Path Places. We’ve decided that we’re not currently ready to make the investment to build out a new app for the feature. We may reassess in the future, as we still own the IP. We’ve received only a few consumer inquires regarding Path Places and have communicated the change through @Pathservice.
And here’s one such tweet: