Dave Morin sells Path's social networking and messaging services to prevent the rest of the Path ship from sinking
Path's Dave Morin announced yesterday that Daum Kakao, the company behind the KakaoTalk messaging platform, has acquired Path and Path Talk.
Rumors about the acquisition have been swirling for some time. Path is a natural fit for Daum Kakao, given the social network's popularity in Southeast Asia and its relative lack of traction in the United States and other markets.
But that doesn't mean Morin is giving up on the West. TechCrunch reports that Path hasn't sold the "Places" feature from its Path Talk application, and it might release the tool as a standalone application following the sale of its other apps.
Places allows consumers to write messages that someone in Path's call centers then conveys to local businesses. The businesses' response is sent the same way. It's a pretty neat service, I think, as long as you remember you have it installed:
I forgot Path Talk existed until Facebook announced the changes to Messenger at its annual F8 developer conference. And when I first heard of the service, I assumed it wouldn’t work in upstate New York, where you can enter a restaurant without seeing a single Zagat, Yelp, or TripAdvisor sticker. Some businesses don’t even bother to add a phone number on Google Maps. Much of the world is similar.
Yet when I used Path Talk for the first time I was able to have a question answered without delay even though most of the places in my area have probably never heard of Path. It’s a neat trick, and one I might take advantage of in the future — if I can remember I have Path Talk installed.
Now I might not have to remember that Path Talk is buried in a "social" folder on my last homescreen. And while it might frustrate Path Talk users that the most interesting aspect of the app is no longer working, it's hard not to think of this as Morin tossing all non-essentials overboard to stop his ship from sinking.
The terms of the deal, beyond a promise that Path and Path Talk will continue to function, have not been disclosed. Path's Kong application will also remain independent, lending more evidence to the sinking-ship theory from above.
[illustration by Brad Jonas]