Path adds movies and books, improved images, and more personalization with version 2.5

path version 2.5Everybody’s favorite Facebook alternative, Path, has just released its latest iteration with Path version 2.5. The updates come after a relatively quiet period following its address book privacy debacle and then (unfounded) rumors that Facebook might acquire the selective sharing platform.

Despite speculation, it appears that Path is doing quite well all on its own, recently adding Nike+ Fuelband integration, new languages, and increasing user numbers along the way.

And version 2.5 is building on that momentum, starting with photos. Images are bigger, taking up the width of your screen, and you now have more filter and quick edit options. Your phone’s volume button also acts as a shutter, and the whole process is much faster for instant photo capture.

Path has also been about focusing on your core interests and activities – there’s a reason people said Facebook’s Timeline and Open Graph implementation took heavy cues from (cough, copied, cough) Path. Recording and sharing the books and movies you’re respectively reading and watching will be introduced to the platform. Data will be pulled from iBooks and Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes, which means that it will be limited – it’s not like Netflix, Kindle, and Fandango are getting the Path treatment. I don’t know about you, but my interaction with the aforementioned applications is comparatively small lined up next to other services.

The biggest change to Path is arguably the addition of the Nudge feature. If you know anything about Path, it’s that the platform favors quality over quantity when it comes to friends – you can only have 150 of them using the application. Given that cap, it’s important that you and these contacts are actually interacting and using Path, otherwise it could get a little quiet. Nudge is basically a reminder you can send out to friends to encourage them to share new activity, a little way to say you want to hear from them. With sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, it’s really easy to sit on the sidelines and observe. You can’t do that with Path because, statistically, the site would be in trouble. People need to share and comment and integrate so that it remains engaging.

To the same end, Path also now lets you customize invites with audio messages or personalized notes.

Path remains perhaps the best mobile-only social network, getting most of its competition from Instagram. But given that the latter of these two is now Facebook-owned, that leaves Path as arguably the most-used standalone app. 

The changes in 2.5 are incremental, but certainly helping Path continue to stand on its own two legs as a viable social networking alternative. You can download Path 2.5 for iPhone and Android now.