Path’s Robocalls And Messaging Have Users Crying Spam

By Nina Sen , May 01, 2013 01:33 PM EDT

Social networking app Path has been getting some backlash for its messaging tactics with users crying spam.

The photo-centric app just hit 10 million users. It takes a current user's contacts to generate more users similar to the Facebook apps that force you to post things to your wall. When signing up, if users don't uncheck their auto-selected contacts on the first page, Path sends out a stock text message asking the to join.

According to the Verge, digital marketer Stephen Kenwright had his contacts spammed with a message reading, "Stephen Kenwright has photos to show you on Path. Download the free app:" followed by a link. Kenwright said he merely tried out the app then uninstalled it but not before Path sent the message to all his contacts.

Kenwright wrote about the experience on a blog post about the incident and even sent a tweet to the company Tuesday. "No response from Path yet - the guys over there are probably still in bed," Kenwright added. "In the meantime Path has called two plumbers; an electrician; a dentist; my girlfriend's grandparents and a local takeaway, letting them know I have photos that they should probably see (I don't have photos for them)."

Other users have also complained about Path sending unwanted text messages and calls to their contacts.

Path sees this as a feature, not a bug, that people must opt-out of when installing the app. However, many users say such an intrusive feature should be opt-in during the sign up process.

"Path is really best with friends and we really want to help users invite the people that they care about to their Path as quickly as possible," said Nate Johnson, VP of marketing for Path to the Verge.

This isn't the first time Path has come under fire. In February of 2012, the Federal Trade Commission fined the company $800,000 for collecting personal information from children without parental consent.  At the time, the app was automatically uploading user address books to its servers without asking for permission.

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