Path has released version 1.1 of Path Talk, a chat messaging app. However, Path Talk is not just another chat tool for staying in contact with friends, family, and coworkers. The company has created a way for users to text messages to places, like restaurants, stores, hotels, and so on.
The trick? Live human beings are catching the messages, and calling the businesses, and then sending back the information requested, like a request to Blue Bottle Coffee for the price for a specific sort of beans, or the time for a lunch reservation made at a corner bistro.
This doesn’t seem like a scalable model to me, but Path may have a longer term plan to roll out some messaging technology to replace this inefficiency, and a business model based on charging the businesses for access.
Path acquired TalkTo a few months ago, and has built this functionality on the TalkTo solution, although the worker bees are now called ‘Path Agents’. Apparently, the turnaround time is averaging five to ten minutes, which is probably good enough for most tasks.
I admit that I would much rather text a company than to make a call and deal with a phone menu or being put on hold. I hope that Path Talk takes off. I’m downloading it right now.