Path gets big update, Deutsche Telekom partnership deal

This is a big week for Path. The San Francisco-based private message and “moment sharing” app will soon be on the wrists of at least a few more geeks thanks to its exclusive partnership with the Samsung Galaxy Gear watch. And now, it’s ready to reveal two major pieces of news: a brand new update to Path with plenty of new features, and an exclusive partnership with German telecom provider Deutsche Telekom.

PathPremiumThe biggest change for 20 million registered Path users is, of course, Path 3.2 for both Android and iPhone, which brings a lot of new features to the messaging app:

  • Private Sharing: Users will now be able to share “moments” in private with one or a group of friends, which will not show up in their public feeds.
  • Inner Circle: Users can designate a group of friends to be the “Inner Circle,” which would receive special private “moments” and also receive priority in the feed. These circles don’t require two-way requests, so users can have different circles.
  • Premium: Subscribers will get unlimited access to filters and stickers, as well as early access to shop items. The service available for purchase as an annual subscription on iOS and Android for $14.99. A monthly subscription is available for $1.99 on Android, and a 3-month subscription is an option on iOS for $4.99.

These new updates to Path have pretty clear goals: to make the overall experience more private at the user’s discretion, and to monetize on the popularity of Path’s premium content — stickers and filters. Path Premium will most certainly appeal to the app’s power users, though its immediate utility for casual users is somewhat limited.

But, more importantly, Path’s recently inked deal with Deutsche Telekom expands the messaging app into Europe, and the company has said it gaining users in Germany and Austria. The partnership, which goes into effect today, offers one year of Path Premium to every Deutsche Telekom subscriber. The app will also come preloaded onto a few Android models later this year. Path certainly isn’t the first messaging app to make valiant attempts to break the regional barriers and go global, but its choice to do it directly with a carrier rather than word-of-mouth or commercial messaging is an aggressive tactic.

Despite its difficulties earlier this year, Path seems to be positioning itself as an app to be reckoned with. But, having raised a lot of money and with a fair amount of uncertainty regarding how many people actually use Path on a regular basis, it’s going to need to generate some momentum.

This post was updated to correct the number of registered Path users at 20 million, not 30 million.