Daum Kakao hopes social network Path will lead to international expansion

The South Korean developer of the KakaoTalk messaging app was attracted by Path's strong presence in Southeast Asia

Path and Path talk logos

Path and Path talk logos

Social network Path will soon be under new ownership.

The privacy-focused service found few friends in its native San Francisco, notching up just 10 million regular users in five years of existence, most of them in Southeast Asia.

That geographical focus, though, has caught the attention of Daum Kakao Communications, the South Korean company behind the popular instant messaging platform KakaoTalk, which sees Path as the perfect way for it to expand internationally.

Social networking services need to reach a critical mass of users to survive in a community. Some become global successes, but others succeed only regionally. Google's Orkut found that mass only in Brazil before closing last September, while Path found success in Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia, where it is one of the top three social networking services, according to Daum Kakao.

Dave Morin launched Path in 2010 as a privacy-friendly alternative to Facebook, his former employer. Path was designed to give users a private environment to share photos and messages within limited circles of friends and family. It also shows users who of their friends and family has seen a post. Privacy turned out not to be that much of an attraction, though: Five years later, Path has less than 1 percent of Facebook's user base of 1.44 billion monthly active users.

Daum Kakao will buy the Path social network and Path Talk, a messaging app launched in 2014, for an undisclosed fee. The remaining parent company Path Inc. will continue to operate the selfie GIF making app Kong.

Path users should not expect much change after the acquisition, as nearly everything about Path and Path Talk will remain as is, Path said in a blog post.

Daum Kakao said it wants to improve Path's service quality using its experience of operating services like KakaoTalk, the company's chat app, which supports 15 languages and in June last year had over 150 million users worldwide.

The acquisition is the kick-off of Daum Kakao's international push. The company plans to expand and said it will explore investment and partnership opportunities around the world, along with more acquisitions.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, online payment issues as well as EU technology policy and regulation for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags social mediamobileinternetmobile applicationsInternet-based applications and servicesPathDaum Kakao Communications

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?