Social-networking service Path is ramping up efforts to reach users of mobile devices. Dave Morin, Path’s chief executive officer, said the startup will release an app designed for Apple’s iPad this year. He said Path is likely to release an app next year for Microsoft phones, which run a newly revamped version of the company’s flagship mobile operating system.
“I’m bullish on Windows Phone,” Morin said in an interview with reporters at a Bloomberg Newsmaker event in San Francisco. Microsoft CEO Steve “Ballmer and those guys deserve huge credit.”
Co-founded by Morin in 2010, Path lets users post messages and photos to a tightly knit group of no more than 150 people. The company stopped offering a version of its service for computer Web browsers last year in order to focus on mobile platforms — a bet that demand for social networking over wireless devices will surge.
About 70 percent of Path’s 3 million users access the site via Apple devices, while 30 percent use handsets with Google’s Android software. In the future, Apple will probably remain the dominant platform, with the rest split between Google and Microsoft, Morin said. Microsoft is poised to benefit from its partnership with Nokia, maker of the recently released Lumia, he said.
“Lumia is probably the best-designed phone, besides the iPhone,” Morin said.
Path, whose user base surged threefold since November, also seeks to expand through partnerships like one it recently announced with Nike, he said. Through the deal, Path users can download Nike tools that help them map runs and track and share information about workouts.
Facebook and Twitter services are also integrated with the Nike app, which is only available for the iPhone. The number of people posting maps of their runs to Path using the Nike app is about even with the number who post similar maps to Twitter, even though Path has fewer users than Twitter, said Morin, who formerly worked at Facebook and Apple. Twitter has 140 million users.
Path does not directly make money from the deal with Nike, Morin said. These types of partnerships may yield revenue in the future, he said. Path expects to make most of its money by selling add-ons within its apps, similar to the photo effects it currently offers, he said.
“Path is a place where you pay for things,” he said.
–Mark Milian and Douglas MacMillan