Path founder Dave Morin says app's No. 2 country is China

The app has gone past 3 million installs and continues to be most established in the U.S., but its popularity in Asia grows as well, Morin says.

James Martin/ CNET

Although most of the people using Path are in the U.S., China has become the second-largest market for the social-networking app, founder and CEO Dave Morin

said today.

The entrepreneur, who left Facebook in 2010 to start Path with Napster creator Shawn Fanning, spoke at TechCrunch Disrupt today. Path aims to be a sort of modern journal, filled with photos and thoughts to be shared with only your closest friends.

Path's success in China is not surprising considering the recent explosion of smartphone users in the country. China has a huge population and many people living there own mobile phones and not computers.

Morin said the number of users also continues to grow in the U.S., with an uptick in the last few months. Although he wouldn't reveal how many users there are now, he said the number has gone over the 3 million mark, adding that an announcement is coming soon.

More importantly for Path, Morin said, the app has found that 50 percent of users who install the app are actively using the app each month.

"We tend to focus on engagement over all else -- having half of our user based engaged is really exciting," Morin said.

Earlier this year, the startup's app stirred up controversy over privacy concerns after it was revealed that it was absorbing entire address books from users' phones. The app has since tightened its security measures in response to concerns.

Privacy concerns aside, Path is seen as a hot startup that could compete with Facebook since it essentially functions the same way, but is entirely developed for quickly growing mobile market.

In April, the company announced a $30 million round of funding from well-known investors, including Richard Branson, Facebook backer Yuri Milner, and Zynga founder and CEO Mark Pincus. The round was led by venture firm Redpoint Ventures.

When asked about moving to the Web, Morin didn't say whether or not the network would ever expand to the Web. Instead, Morin, who co-created the Facebook Platform, stressed the importance of mobile.

He said the influence of this market is reflected in how the app's sleep option -- which indicates whether or not a user is awake or sleeping -- was the app's third most popular feature before it was recently unseated by the music feature.

"Mobile is the future where everything is going -- in the mobile world, you're not online or offline, you're just awake or asleep," Morin said.

 

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