Kevin Smith, Business InsiderOut of nowhere, mobile-only social network Path recently hit 10 million users and is growing by 1 million users a week.
People speculated that Path was leaching traffic from Facebook. At the same time, Path has seen a lot of growth from Spanish-speaking populations in Central and South America, Matt Lynley of The Wall Street Journal reported last week.
But it now seems that Path's sign-up process may be driving its growth.
When you first sign up for the app, Path encourages you to invite all of your contacts and friends from Facebook. You don't have to invite all of your friends, but if you're quickly trying to get through the sign-up process, it's very easy to accidentally spam all of your friends with invitations to Path.
Digital marketer Stephen Kenwright accused Path yesterday of spamming all of his friends with text messages and phone calls, inviting them to sign up for the app, even after Kenwright had deleted the app from his phone.
But Path maintains that it meant to send those messages while Kenwright was still a Path member. Regarding the robocalls, Kenwright says Path didn't realize that landlines in the U.K. read out text messages that are sent to them.
"Users are giving us permission to send invitations to friends and family," Path VP of Marketing Nate Johnson told CNET. "Path is best with friends. We want to help users connect with close friends and family as quickly as possible."
But that doesn't mean your friends want to receive those invitations.
S everal other mobile applications have similar on-boarding techniques.
Path apologized for it, but that wasn't enough. In February 2012, Path agreed to pay $800,000 to the Federal Trade Commission in a settlement over its sketchy privacy practices.
Today, Path is number five in the Apple App Store in the free category.
Update from Path: "The new user process is important to a user's experience on Path," a representative from The Hatch Agency said in an email to Business Insider. "The quicker you reach the sweet spot - 8 Path friends - the better experience you have sharing with close friends and family.
A user must opt-in to share their contact information when they download Path. Path then asks users to invite their friends from their contacts or from Facebook, or to unselect their contacts' names and not send invitations.
Invitations are sent either by email or by SMS messages. Path does not connect with people over the phone."
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