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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

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

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

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.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?