Path Releases Valentine’s Day Metrics in Wake of Privacy Controversy

Path released a list of Valentine’s Day stats Wednesday, just one week after a privacy controversy prompted Path’s CEO to issue an apology.

In a press release, Path lists mentions for certain terms such as “romance,” “engaged,” and “single” on Valentine’s Day. The stats are somewhat interesting, however it seems ill-timed considering the hot water Path was in last week surrounding privacy issues with its app.

Developer Arun Thampi discovered that users unknowingly submit their entire address book to Path’s servers through the app, reporting the issue on his blog Feb. 8. Path CEO Dave Morin issued an apology on the company’s blog that same day, admitting Path made a mistake. He added that the information was only used to improve the “Add Friends” feature and alert users when a contact joined Path. Morin wrote that user’s address books were sent to servers “over an encrypted connection” and “stored securely on our servers using industry standard firewall technology.”

The way Path sourced this Valentine’s data is different from last week’s issue. With aggregate usage data, it analyzes all Path users as a whole without looking at any one individual.

Numerous social network companies are privy to information about popular terms and what you’re accessing on their sites without violating privacy policies. But this new batch of information could possibly keep concerns about what information companies such as Path can access front-and-center in user’s minds.

Last week’s Path problem was a result of the fact the app didn’t ask users’ permission before it accessed their information – a rule for all iOS apps. Permissions on Facebook’s new apps drew similar concern from some experts and generated criticism, because to access the app, the opt-in agreement is usually mandatory.

Here are the stats from the press release:

Path metrics for Valentine’s Day in the U.S. on February 14, 2012:

  • Comments with the word “love” on Path up 26%
  • Comments with the words “romantic” or “romance” up 153%
  • Comments using the words “marry,” “date” or “engage” up 54%
  • Negative comments about Valentine’s Day up 38%
  • Comments with the word “single,” up 53%
  • Percentages of moments tagged with other people up 33%
  • Love (hearts), 43.5%
  • Happy (smiley face), 25%
  • Laugh (laughing face), 18%
  • Surprise (surprised face), 8.6%
  • Sad (sad face), 4.9%

Top 10 songs people listened to on Valentine’s Day:

  • Someone like You by Adele
  • Young, Wild and Free (feat. Bruno Mars) by Wiz Khalifa
  • Set Fire to the Rain by Adele
  • We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris) by Rihanna
  • A Thousand Years by Christina Perry
  • It Will Rain by Bruno Mars
  • The One That Got Away by Katy Perry
  • Paradise by Coldplay
  • I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston
  • Take Care (feat. Rihanna) by Drake

Top 10 Artists listened to on Path:

  • Drake
  • Adele
  • Rihanna
  • Coldplay
  • Beyonce
  • Whitney Houston
  • Bruno Mars
  • Chris Brown
  • Katy Perry
  • Maroon 5

  • Average time users went to sleep, 12:11 a.m.

What information do you feel comfortable providing to social networking sites? Tell us in the comments.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, oonal

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