Why Path is my new Gowalla

Gowalla was one of my favorite apps, and like most users, I’ve been saddened by it’s decline and recent changes. If you’ve never used it, Gowalla is an app like Foursquare or Facebook check-ins for telling your friends where you are visiting. Gowalla was different than those because you could find neat digital items and badges along your journey such as Digital SLRs, tablets, luggage tags, and many more creative rewards. They ran a promotion in 2010 where you could win a real pair of toms shoes and I actually won a pair!

When Gowalla changed it’s layout drastically with version 4.0, I was pretty bummed to lose my rewards and see the interface shuffle things around. Frustration with the interface that I once loved eventually lead to the decision to try other apps. As of writing this, the last checkin on my Gowalla timeline (from all of my connections) was over one month ago. I tried to use Foursquare full-time for a few weeks, but just couldn’t get into it for whatever reason. A lot of my friends use Foursquare regularly, but even that didn’t help me enjoy it. And then came the Path 2.0 update.

I’ve yet to hear Path referred to as a serious competitor to Foursquare, or a replacement for Gowalla, but that’s what it’s become to me. I now use Path as my sole check-in app, and love sharing checkins on Twitter and Facebook. Here’s my 4 favorite reasons why I am happy to check-in again and brave enough to say that it’s my Gowalla replacement:

  1. Send to Foursquare
    Even after using Foursquare for a few weeks, I just can’t get into it, but I know a few of my friends use it and I like to pass on my checkins to them. Gowalla did this well, and Path lets me do it with just a quick tap. It can also end your comments and locations to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.
  2. Pictures
    I love checking in with an image and how people in my Path timeline will see that image later. I actually think they’ve integrated images better than Gowalla did
  3. Tag your friends
    Gowalla added this ability in the 4.0 update and though I didn’t much care for their changes to the overall experience, I did like the ability to tag friends. Path not only lets you tag other users who are with you, but anyone in your address book and still keeps their info private. All an onlooker will see is “Matt is ‘eating dinner’ with Brad.”
  4. Privacy
    On the issue of privacy, Path shares with only who you want it to. I think this is a cool little feature, especially when you’re exposing your current whereabouts. I actually enjoy being able to share with only a sub-section of my greater online community.