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Path update enhances privacy, removes "find Facebook friends" functionality


This past week, Path made headlines when it was reported that the popular messaging and photo sharing app was aggressively 'recruiting' new users by sending out sign-up invitations via text, and in some cases phone, to users' contact lists.

The reason behind the application's ostensibly strange behavior is that the default setting is such that the app reaches out to a user's Facebook friends and asks them to try out Path. Consequently, if users want to avoid spamming their friends, they have to pro-actively toggle the option off.

As one might expect, Path wasn't entirely apologetic, noting that the process is meant to simplify the friend-finding process, adding that the app "is really best with friends" and that the company really wants "to help users invite the people that they care about to their Path as quickly as possible."

All that said, Path this past Friday updated its app to version 3.0.4. While the app doesn't address the aforementioned default setting, it does include an enhanced privacy setting whereby users are now given the option to remove themselves from global search results. On the flip side, the Path update also includes enhanced tools for finding friends and family who are already on Path via beefed up Twitter and Gmail integration.

Interestingly, TechCrunch notes that the 'find my Facebook friends' functionality in Path has now been removed:

Facebook's social graph went missing from yesterday's update to Path's smartphone app, and Facebook now confirms it has restricted Path's API access. Path can no longer look up your Facebook friends, which prevents it from sending them invitations or suggesting you follow them.

While Path's methods have raised a number of privacy concerns in the past, it doesn't seem to be thwarting the application's success. Recently, Path announced that it had passed the 10 million user threshold.

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