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Path iOS update brings in private messaging and 'stickers' feature

Move over, Facebook — there's another social network rolling out updates this week. Path has now launched its revamped iOS app, adding private messaging and other new features.

Path 3.0.1 now provides private messaging for both one-to-one communication and group chats, plus the ability to send text, voice, location, stickers, songs, books, movies, photos, and videos.

"When we speak with friends, share a joke, a quiet word, or a conversation over drinks, there is so much more than words that pass between us," Path said in a blog post. "How can a technology hope to recreate our unspoken language?"

Apparently by revisiting our childhood love of stickers, or in this case, "expressive and fun" pieces of art used to "communicate what words can't." Path's answer to emoticons, the new sticker options include the cartoon-like rendering of over-caffeination, jealousy, and "big love."

The update comes with two free sticker packs; for more, users must make an in-app purchase.

Path's new free-form messaging feature is a departure from its former system, which let users post updates only to Path, viewable to anyone connected to them. But, as Wired pointed out, it doesn't follow the company's own "Path should be private by default" rules. The update now allows users to send messages to people they aren't friends with, and doesn't offer an option to opt out of receiving messages.

The company should be tiptoeing around privacy issues, having been fined $800,000 (£530,000) by the Federal Trade Commission last month for uploading users' mobile address books without permission. The final settlement requires Path to establish a comprehensive privacy program and obtain independent privacy assessments every other year for the next 20 years.

Launched in November 2010, the social network provides a sort of journaling space for users to share with up to 150 friends.

The updated Path app is available now in the Apple App Store; the update will come soon to the Google Play Store.