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Path to introduce premium service and virtual goods this year, CEO says

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path for ipad
path for ipad

Path CEO Dave Morin has told TechCrunch that his company plans to move further towards a "freemium" business model and expand its paid-for offerings in 2013. "Later in the year we’re going be rolling out virtual goods and a premium service in the first half of this year." Morin cites Spotify, Evernote, and Dropbox as examples of companies that have found success using the formula, which involves offering a core service for free while selling premium features in hopes of monetizing business. It's obviously a delicate balance to strike when talking about the design-focused social network (or "personal network" as Morin calls it) and the CEO insists Path's intimate nature won't be lost in the shuffle. “A business model is important, but we want to be in a trust relationship with users," he says.

Morin also reveals that adding search functionality to Path has paid off in spades. Traffic is already up 40 percent, and he expects search will fuel growth even further as it expands to all of the 18 languages supported by Path. “A lot of our usage is Asia, East Asia and we’re strong in the UK and Germany,” he says. As for what's helped the company find success both overseas and in the US, Morin says the secret is being cautious with your personal data. “We’re so focused on privacy that in cultures where privacy is important, we tend to end up having some strong fans."