You may have not heard of it yet, but private messaging and social sharing network start-up Path has been gaining steam–quickly. Despite being reviewed (and even fined) by Facebook and the FTC for spam practices, the social network’s growth has been steady, gaining both users and investors. According to TechCrunch, the network had approximately 10 million users and is gaining up to 1 million new users each week, as the founder reported to the Wall Street Journal.
Path is a social network that is geared toward fostering relationships with the people you know best. Users are limited to 150 friends and privacy is considered a top priority by the company, which was launched more than two years ago. You can message privately with a single person or with a group, and conversations include stickers, which are pieces of art by emerging artists that can be embedded in the conversations.
The app version is available via iTunes (where it is currently the twelfth most downloaded free app in the United States) and Android via Google Play. Sign-up is free and is currently open to anyone (it was in private beta for a period of time after launching). Besides having conversations with those in your network, you can also share your interactions and posts to your Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare. In addition, the network can collect your activities on your other networks, allowing you to import your posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Foursquare.
While in Path, users in your network can interact with the content you share, choosing to laugh, smile, gasp, comment, or love your posts, photos, and videos.
Besides a growing user base, the site’s funding also has been increasing, and there are hopes for a $1 billion valuation. With an additional investment of $75 million to $100 million during the latest round of funding, Path’s founders are hoping to finally get to the one billion mark. While there are some rumors that the leaders of Path are hoping to be acquired (which, these days, is usually by a company like Yahoo!, Google, Facebook, or Microsoft), this newest call for funding may put these rumblings on the back burner.
No matter what direction Path and its team decides to take, this private social network will only continue to increase as regular social media users look for a more intimate and private experience to talk with the inner circle of friends and family, who knows them best.