Path joins the hashtag party


Path has apparently decided to jump on board the hashtag bandwagon, joining the likes of Twitter, Facebook (possibly), Instagram and Flickr.

The latest update to the private social network’s iOS app includes a feature which links hashtagged comments to a search across posts. The search will also bring up non-hashtagged posts, although Path has told Mermeburn that this will be changed in the next update so that it only searches for hashtagged content.

That means its use is slightly more limited than on Twitter. There hashtags also provide a means of tracking trends and are included in its paid advertising. Then again, as The Next Web notes, Path aims for a much greater degree of privacy and doesn’t have any of Twitter’s global town crier aspirations.

Path’s latest update comes a fast on the heels of the release of Version 3.0, which includes new features like Messaging, which allows you to message your family and friends one-to-one or in small groups; Stickers and a shop, where you can find “premium photo filters and handcrafted stickers”.

Path may be entering the hashtag game just as people are beginning to turn against it. New York Times social media editor Daniel Victor has penned a piece for Nieman Journalism Lab in which he calls hashtags “harmful”, arguing that they don’t attract an audience and “are aesthetically damaging.”

Twitter’s formula of making tweets from top users is great for relevancy, he says, “but it also decreases the likelihood that the average user will find a new audience”.

That might be true of Twitter, but given that Path’s meant to connect close friends, the likelihood of someone looking for new followers is incredibly small.



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