The days of calling a restaurant to find parking or being placed on hold while a salesperson finds an item for you are over. Path, the mobile social networking platform that currently boasts four million daily users, is bringing customers closer to their favorite businesses one text at a time with the help of Path Talk 1.1.
Available for iPhone and Android, Path Talk 1.1 now has a Places feature that allows users to interact with local restaurants and merchants via the app’s text-like messaging service. The goal of the feature, which is free for users and based on the TalkTo business-messaging app Path acquired last June, is to serve as a virtual assistant of sorts, shifting common tasks like scheduling haircuts from the user to the app. “We built Places to help you save time and get things done—giving you more freedom to focus on things that matter to you,” said Path in a recent statement on their website, adding “our intention is that it brings you happiness and a more meaningful, personal connection with the local businesses that are a big part of your life, too.”
How It Works
Say there’s a hot new eatery nearby that you’ve been dying to try. Text the restaurant any questions you have—everything from hours and parking options to menu items and reservation availability—and your query will be sent to a Path agent who will then call the business for you and text you with an answer in a matter of minutes.
So what does this mean for businesses?
It isn’t clear if Path Talk stores frequently asked, general questions for businesses listed on Places, which would surely be a more streamlined process for all involved. Path also isn’t clear about how they plan to monetize the service, though a paid model for either users or businesses is sure to emerge in the future. Businesses are likely to see an increase in inquires from Path’s call center agents, which works in their favor since they aren’t directly responsible for contacting their potential customers.
With mobile messaging serving as a core communication tool for younger generations, Path may have just found a way to take texting to new heights.