Social Stocks Sell Off, but Path Still Wants to Go Public: CEO

Wednesday, 1 Aug 2012 | 12:58 PM ET

Even though social media stocks have been under pressure, Path CEO Dave Morin says he still wants to take his social media company public, although he did not give a timeline.

Path iPhone App
Source: path.com
Path iPhone App

"Hopefully we'll get to the public market someday," Morin said Wednesday on CNBC's "Squawk Box." "For us the longer term is to build a long-term company."

Path is a "more personal social network" that is mobile based and designed to let users connect with only their closest friends and family, he said. It limits users to 150 friends in their network.

"It's a network designed for your personal life, rather than your social or professional life," Morin said.

The network currently has about 3 million users on iPhone and Android devices, Morin said.

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While Path aims to go public though, the reality remains that there's been a social selloff recently.

Facebook , which went public in May pricing at$38, has continued to decline since its IPO. The stock reached a record low Tuesday closing at $21.61.

Zynga stock has also moved from bad to worse. The social gaming company priced at $11 during the public offering, but closed Tuesday below $3 for first time.

Why have these companies fallen so far from grace since their IPOs?

"I think the bigger picture is that companies like Facebook and Zynga have amassed a large number of users. I think the original valuations of the companies were based on the number of people actively using the platforms," said Colin Sebastian, a senior analyst at Robert W. Baird. "Now that they're public companies, the attention shifts to monetization of those users, and both of those companies are in awkward phases of their lifecycle in terms of increasing monetization."

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Facebook needs to generate a higher return on investment for advertising and increase user engagement to make money, but investors still aren't sure if the company can do this, Sebastian said Wednesday on CNBC.

"I think that in this environment, given the botched IPO of Facebook investors don't have much tolerance to wait and see, so the stock is in a penalty box," he said.

While Facebook toils away at trying to figure out how to make money on the mobile platform from advertising via sponsored stories, Path has another idea.

When it comes to making money, Path is focusing on selling an experience, Morin said.

Users want different ways to express themselves and to communicate, like icons and other virtual goods, so Path is focusing on these types of products initially to generate revenue, Morin said.

"Most people (who) are making the best money on mobile right now are charging for experiences that allow you to express yourself," Morin said.

email: tech@cnbc.com

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