Dave Morin Teases New Social Networking Successor App to Path

Dave Morin Tweet

It appears that in recent days with the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica story breaking, Dave Morin has been “overwhelmed with requests to rebuild a better Path”. Yesterday he sent out this tweet:

This outpouring is surely due to the continuing fallout from the #DeleteFacebook campaign and the growing concern of our trust being compromised with regards to sharing of personal data. Dave Morin is an alumni of Facebook and was a co-founder of Path which aimed to be a much more personal social networking app. One of its founding principles was to limit the number of people you could follow on the network citing Dunbar’s number. The app originally limited you to 50 friends but later expanded that to Dunbar’s 150. [You can read the history arc of Path on TechCrunch here.]

I was an avid user of Path. While I restrained my personal sharing on Facebook due to its nature of a more open network that I also used to share professional achievements, I shared more intimate thoughts with a closed circle on Path. After Path’s sale in 2015 my usage started to dwindle and I eventually stopped using it.

I recently wrote about the importance of decentralization and it continues to pick up steam amidst continuing news about how our personal data continues to be compromised. I responded to Dave’s tweet and a short time later he responded:

While I don’t understand how the complexity of such a project wouldn’t allow it to be created as open source, it was nice to see that decentralization is a consideration. In fact in a later tweet he mentioned possibly using Blockstack which confirms his thoughts.

I’m sure choosing open source would present quite a few challenges but I feel that it would ensure that a community could be built around a project to ensure its longevity. What guarantee as users would we have that this new project wouldn’t just be sold again like Path? An app as intimate with the amount of personal data we devote to it deserves our guarantee of trust and survival. The mere fact that that data has value to someone for purchasing it, removes the trust of having single entity owning it. We need to re-think the business model around such an important app. It’s time.

I guess by decentralizing it, the data could become portable to other apps but open source just seems like glue that would bind that. There are currently great business models in content management systems such as Automattic as a for profit entity building apps on top of open source WordPress as well as the same model in Acquia for Drupal. I’d love to see a similar model developed for a social network.

I responded to Dave’s tweet with the following, but haven’t gotten a response:

I just feel that we’re past having a private entity having ownership of something as important as a social network and there has to be a better way to create such a system that allows those who build it to make a profit while keeping the integrity and longevity of it guaranteed. I’m excited about Dave’s announcement regardless and look forward to following its progress.

In any case his original tweet has garnered quite a bit of positive interest and excitement with over 200 responses as of this writing. Here’s some additional notable ones:

Several former Path team members came out of the woodwork showing their support for building a new app. Here’s one of them.

Looks like Ryan is ready and willing to help.

I like this idea and it plays into my integrity and longevity concerns

Looks like the first investor is lined up.


Several tweets discussing a new business model. Dave says subscription only but also likes the crowdfunding or indie vc model.

And finally…

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