Dave Morin once worked for Facebook. Now he works for himself. His new company is a social media network called ‘Path’ that limits your friends to just 50. This is because the human brain can (according to his research) only handle fifty relationships at once. More than that, Morin says, and you are just being a glutton. All those extra ‘Friends’ don’t do anything for you because you can’t keep track of them all. Instead, Path encourages users to create deeper relationships with their 50. This, he says, is the best way to achieve social media success. Not in gathering thousands of friends you don’t actually and can’t keep track of.
I think Morin is totally off his rocker. Lady Gaga just leveraged her celebrity to achieve 10,000,000 Fans on Facebook and 10,000,000 Followers on Twitter for a reason: The larger your network, the more opportunities you have in it. Simple math, Morin.
It’s proven by research, Dave Morin says. You can’t really, truly be friends with more than 50 people at once; and your brain can’t manage a social network that’s larger than 150 people, according to Robin Dunbar at Oxford.
Now think about the thousands of online relationships people tend to manage across sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. (“Who is that person writing on my wall?”) The average Facebook user has 130 friends.
This digi-friend overload is why Morin, a former Facebook employee, created an app-based social network called Path, which limits its users to 50 friends or fewer. The goal is to promote intimate and memorable sharing, he said.
“Path is really focused on close friends and family, and developing deeper and more intimate relationships between the 50 closest people in your life,” Morin said in an interview at a recent tech conference in Austin, Texas.
Path’s setup is familiar. It is basically a photo-sharing app. Look at your Path news feed on your phone and you’ll see photos from locations where family and friends have been recently, and short blips of text about what they were doing.
The app this week launched a new feature called “stacks,” which puts all this information into bundles based on where a person has been and who they’ve seen.
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