Path Talk: Can Path’s New Standalone Messaging App Save The Company?

Path Talk

Path just released a standalone chat messaging app called Path Talk that their branding as a replacement to SMS and Facebook. Typically this kind of news doesn’t do much for me, but there’s a little more to Path Talk that I think is worth talking about.

Path acquired TalkTo a couple days ago, and will be implemented the TalkTo technology into Path Talk later this summer. TalkTo allowed consumers to ask questions to stores and restaurants by text. And Path Talk will do the same when they add ‘Place Messaging’ to Path Talk later this summer:

Place Messaging will enable Talk messaging between you and any local business. Make dinner reservations, book hair appointments, get prices, hours, and check in-store availability all without ever placing a phone call.

For whatever it’s worth, Path is kind of desperate to make something that sticks, especially in the USA. While they used to be a fairly prominent app, they had to lay of 20% of their staff in October 2013. And last month, Pando Daily wrote a pretty tough piece about the status of the company, saying it may be the “beginning of the end”.

According to TechCrunch’s coverage of the Path Talk announcement, messaging seems like a logical area for Path to focus it’s energy since messaging has been the biggest driver of user retention and engagement for Path in the past year.

Making a standalone app for messaging seems logical, too, especially if you buy into Mary Meeker’s 2014 Internet Trends report. What I’m referring to specifically is Mary Meeker’s analysis about the evolution of apps from multi-purpose to single-purpose (slide #40).

Path has a smart team, a high quality product and an estimated 4 million daily active users. However, the app is not culturally relevant in America. What I mean by that is it’s not mentioned in the same breath as Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc.  Do you think Path Talk will change that?

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