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Path turns at the fork: no limit on friends, separate messaging, business texts

Above: The now-separate Path messaging app, Talk

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Above: Talk’s Ambient Status feature

Image Credit: Path

The company also announced today it has acquired Boston-based TalkTo, a place messenger that allows a user to text a business and get back a text within minutes. It cuts out all that phone calling that is still commonly used to make appointments or see if a store has a certain product. The acquisition price was not made public.

Is TalkTo a preview of the day when artificial intelligence-driven communication is common in every business? Not quite. It uses a service team of TalkTo Agents who make the phone call for you and then text you back. Alternatively, businesses can email or text their responses themselves.

A question here is whether this text-oriented feature is more trouble than it’s worth for some kinds of inquiries. Phone calling a business can sometimes still be the most efficient way to ask a series of questions.

TalkTo will be integrated this summer into Talk as a feature called Place Messaging, after which TalkTo will be shut down as a separate app.

In a post today, Co-Founder and CEO Dave Morin wrote that the separate Talk app is now “much easier to access than being buried in a tab in our main app, [and] Business Messaging is the core differentiator we are focused on for new users.”

The company, which was born with more than its share of hype and currently reports over four million daily active users, has hit a few speedbumps in its path.

Early last year, for instance, it received a fine of $800,000 from the Federal Trade Commission when it was discovered to be harvesting user information from address books without the user’s permission.

Last fall, it laid off 20 percent of its staff.

In January, it raised $25 million in a third level of funding from a group led by the Bakrie Global Group, in Indonesia. Path reportedly has a big following in Asia.

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Path is the smart journal that helps you share life with the ones you love. Launched in November of 2010, Path has grown to include over two million people sharing life with close friends and family all over the world. The company … read more »