Rumor: Apple in late-stage talks to buy Path social platform

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2014
According to a report late Tuesday, Apple is on the verge of announcing an acquisition of social network and corresponding app Path, possibly in a bid to restart a branded platform after the failure of Ping.

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As reported by Pando Daily, a source with knowledge of the matter claims an agreement between Apple and Path is "essentially a done deal." The publication cites one person currently working for Apple in unnamed engineering department.

Interestingly, the source says Apple is looking to keep Path intact following the rumored buyout, a tactic that strays from the company's usual M&A tactics. Save for the recent acquisition of Beats, Apple usually performs so-called "acquihires," or purchases made for talent, not a brand name. The publication speculates that Path may make its way into iOS Messages.

Path, which has been frequently featured in the iOS App Store, is not unlike a mobile-only version of Facebook. Users can share photos, videos, audio messages, and thoughts with their friends, who can reply with fine-grained emotions — friends can express shock at a post, for instance, or "love" rather than simply "liking" the content. In addition, Path users can simultaneously share "moments" with their other social networks, putting Path at the middle of their social sharing endeavors.

The company has also recently spun off its in-app messaging feature as a standalone app called Path Talk, which competes with "over the top" messenger apps like WhatsApp and Kik.

Pando Daily also points out that Path cofounder Dave Morin was seen sitting in the front row at Flint Center for Tuesday's iPhone 6 keynote. Apple saves those seats for high-ranking executives and special guests. For example, during the presentation, Jony Ive was seen sitting with design superstar and new Apple employee Marc Newson.

Pricing went unmentioned, but the struggling social networking firm's recent round of funding reportedly clocked in at a sub-$400 million valuation, much less than a rumored $500 million valuation sought by executives. Further, Path is not a high-ranking title in the iOS App Store and currently sits below the top-1,000 downloaded apps.

Aside from being one of the less popular social networking services, Path had a few missteps that drew scrutiny from governmental regulatory agencies and even Apple itself. In 2012, the firm was dinged for uploading users' address books without permission, claiming the automated action was meant to more easily find other friends using the app. The issue snowballed into a U.S. Federal Trade Commission investigation, which was ultimately settled for $800,000 in early 2013.

On the day Path's settlement, a researcher discover a flaw in the app's backend that geotagged photos uploaded by users. The problem was quickly patched, but shortly thereafter Path was again accused of unacceptable contacts handling techniques.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39

    i liked path.   it would be a good buy. 

  • Reply 2 of 39
    'Social' networking. [I]Urgh.[/I]
  • Reply 3 of 39
    Good. Keeps it out of Facebook's and Google's hands.
  • Reply 4 of 39
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by McDavies View Post

     

    i liked path.   it would be a good buy. 


     

    Right, with the same outcome as Ping iTunes integration, and for the same money as spent for Beats.

  • Reply 5 of 39
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member

    Yes, but rename it. It's one terrible name.

     

    And even with a better name the issue will be getting people to move from Facebook to Path as people won't use two networks indefinitely. I can see the synergy with Path, but could have seen a lot of synergy with Twitter too. I'd bet the could have bought Twitter at one time or another if they really wanted to. Jack Dorsey said as much at one stage I believe. 

  • Reply 6 of 39
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

     

    Right, with the same outcome as Ping iTunes integration, and for the same money as spent for Beats.


     

    moan moan moan

  • Reply 7 of 39
    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

    'Social' networking. Urgh.



    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

    Good. Keeps it out of Facebook's and Google's hands.

     

    This can’t be overstated:

     

    Apple would be buying Path to value-add to their existing ecosystem, NOT to compete with external social networking.

  • Reply 8 of 39
    ^ post

    I get that. I just think people should use their phone to communicate. What's wrong with talking? It's the oldest form of communicating (I think), it's free and it's wireless.
  • Reply 9 of 39
    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

    ...it’s free...



    Well, the telecoms don’t seem to think so... :p

  • Reply 10 of 39
    ...it’s free...


    Well, the telecoms don’t seem to think so... :p


    ( ?° ?? ?°)
  • Reply 11 of 39
    After Ping, I'm not sure Apple needs a social network for anything
  • Reply 12 of 39
    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

    [that face]

     

    ?( ? )? La la la, just going to the store...

     

     

    Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post

    After Ping, I'm not sure Apple needs a social network for anything


     

    Honestly, we are Apple’s social network.

  • Reply 13 of 39
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    philboogie wrote: »
    'Social' networking. Urgh.

    I look forward to the day such things are seen as old school and we have moved on, or rather back, to communicating with those we want to not the entire world all the time. Blogs are all we need for being social IMHO.
  • Reply 14 of 39
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    [SIZE=72px]?( ? )? [/SIZE]<span style="line-height:1.4em;">La la la, just going to the store...</span>



    Honestly, we are Apple’s social network.

    My point exactly. A blog is a social network. Other than that communications should be between those that want to communicate. The whole social media thing is totally out of control and fundamentally weird.
  • Reply 15 of 39
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    ireland wrote: »
    And even with a better name the issue will be getting people to move from Facebook to Path as people won't use two networks indefinitely.

    Lol- you don't think people use Instagram and snapchat or Instagram and Facebook simultaneously? Or twitter?
    Curious- how old are you? thinking this might not be the subject of your expertise ;)
  • Reply 16 of 39
    There are three things Apple is strong in that lends itself to a social network.
    1. Music
    2. Photos
    3. iMessages

    Ping failed with iTunes. The problem there was that iTunes was mostly about listening to music that you had purchased and was often done off-line.
    Beats streaming service necessitates that you are connected to the internet and is focused on music discovery.
    Apple makes the most popular camera in the world. They are moving to a cloud-based photo storage system which lends itself to social sharing.
    iMessages. Another strong platform that lends itself to social.
  • Reply 17 of 39
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    philboogie wrote: »
    I just think people should use their phone to communicate. What's wrong with talking?

    Blogs are all we need for being social IMHO.

    I only use Instagram. In fact, Facebook and blogs are my two least favorite forms of "communication". I can't stand having to hear someone's opinion about some subject and their rant on Facebook. Cancelled my account years ago.

    Instagram is great because I can just see pics of my friends and their families without all the necessary commentary except the occasional thumbs up emoji. If I truly care about someone's opinion, they are either my friend that I talk to in person (or phone), or they are someone I hold with high esteem- like reading their book.

    Now- care about my opinion! :p
  • Reply 18 of 39
    rcfarcfa Posts: 786member
    Apple would be better off to integrate with diaspora.org's software, have diaspora as a module of OS X Server.
    That would undermine the importance of these networks and truly do something for user privacy.
    If they want, the could also run diaspora on icloud.
  • Reply 19 of 39
    rcfarcfa Posts: 786member
    Not sure why one would pay money to acquire a failed brand and then retain it.
    If there were key patents to be had, but path doesn't strike me as particularly unique in terms of technology, and brand is tarnished.
  • Reply 20 of 39
    Originally Posted by rcfa View Post

    Not sure why one would pay money to acquire a failed brand and then retain it.



    Because it isn’t about the brand.

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