The public-by-default social networks, such as Twitter and Instagram, nurture a specific type of sharing. It’s slightly more edited and controlled than the sharing that happens in the private-by-default social networks, such as Facebook.
While more open and authentic, the sharing that happens via the private-by-default social networks is still a constrained subset of our experiences. As the number of connections increases, our willingness to share changes. This is true for Path, even with the imposed limit on the number of connections. Path’s constraint of 150 friends may respect the ‘cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships‘ but it doesn’t capture the fact that sharing changes as our networks grow.
Think about what you share with your significant other, family members, or closest friends via email, sms, and the like. This type of sharing is considerably different from what we share across social networks.
I understand the business opportunities and network growth that public sharing provides. But considering the type of sharing that these services don’t capture I am a fan of the emerging services trying to solve the 1:1 and small group sharing problem.