Live Blogging Dave Morin Talking: Path Launches Private API (With Nike), Other Stuff

By Sarah Lacy , written on March 8, 2012

From The News Desk

I hate doing this. At Path's office and they want me to live blog stuff with a lot of other reporters. Also I'm in a bad mood today. This should be interesting.


100 million moments shared on path

70% of users come every week

1 billion pieces of feedback on those moments

Path has a new release called Path 2.1 just rolled out in the Apple store. (Most of it is also available on Android.) Some details:

-Enhancing Music match product

-Enhanced the camera to include a new way to do focus and exposure.

-Enhanced Lenses. These cost money. They include a Diana "with a certain old time effect"....hmmm... sounds like another app I know...

....But "the big news" is the new Path API. Dave says they've overhauled the whole infrastructure to make this possible.

Like a lot of Path things, the pacing of this is very controlled. The API is private and Path has one partner: Nike. Dave says this is to focus on quality. "We love the real time nature of Path and so we want to make sure the stories showing up are good stories and a big part of people's days," he says. It'll open up to other partners over time and will be public at some point, but Dave says it'll be tightly controlled.

They started with something they -- nor most Valley companies -- have spent a lot of time on: Working out. People can cheer you on as you run -- like an everyday virtual marathon-- and you'll see your route and best pace. Your friends can interact with this daily run. (This part of the presentation is just making me angrier because I haven't been able to lose my pregnancy weight because I am too busy live blogging stuff and not working out.)

Path is also working with the Nike FuelBand, a device that seems like the Jawbone Up. (This is interesting because I know that Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman is good friends with Dave Morin...wonder how he feels about this tight solo-API partnership.)

There's an interesting UI twist so that users really have to work to connect the Nike and Path app. You have to pull the Nike icon like a virtual yoyo to land on top of the Path icon. Clearly the privacy debacle is the unsaid reason why Path wants to make EXTRA SURE users realize what they are doing in syncing apps.

Snarkiness aside, I like a lot of things about this announcement. I think pacing the roll-out of an API is a good idea for two reasons. The first is developers are fatigued with all the APIs being thrown at them. Lending an air of exclusivity might make Path a more desirable platform. And for users it certainly reduces the noise, which has always been Path's USP.

Says Morin: "We'll definitely exercise control over it... keep it more like the app store."

I'm not totally sure I get Nike being the first partner. Why not partner up with another partner who is also a startup like Jawbone? (I asked and Dave says it's because Nike is in the market now and is more visionary, but Up will likely have an app in the future.)

I get that fitness is an under-utilized app. But that's for a reason: Fitness sites have never been super successful because the Web tends to do better when you tap into the way people are not the way they wish they were. I'm not sure how many of Path's users really go on daily runs. Now I will feel like a slob watching my friends go on runs every day. :(

Still, he's inviting other partners, and I'm sure we'll see more apps that appeal to other users.

Dave notes that there hasn't been a drop off in users with the whole privacy debacle. A "very small" number asked to delete account. I've heard that there actually was a *huge* uptick in new users, proving that old adage that no publicity is bad publicity. (See also Heart Attack Grill. After reports of a man having a heart attack at the one in Vegas, Paul Carr says the line to get in was wrapped around the block.)

(Also, I love Dave, but this is a horrible way to release news. I-- and other reporters in the room-- are too busy live blogging words as they drop out of his mouth to really listen, ask questions and think about what he's saying. This is why I don't cover news this way. Consider this a one-time thing on Pando.)

Reminder: Dave Morin will be our guest at the next PandoMonthly March 22. We'll release tickets soon. Follow us on Twitter for the heads up.

[Image Credit: Rihardzz / Shutterstock]