As a startup matures and grows, it no doubt waits for that moment where it could possibly curtail into mainstream awareness beyond the tech bubble. It's that tipping point where not only Techcrunch knows who you are but even US Weekly.
Typically that moment happens with some sort of celebrity endorsement or promotion. Twitter's shift into the mainstream zeitgeist happened when Ashton Kutcher joined in 2009 and created a press frenzy attempting to reach 1 million followers bringing Larry King and Oprah along for the ride with their millions of middle American fans.
Tonight, had both social media early adopters and pop culture fans buzzing when Britney Spears tweeted about Path, a personal social network launched in 2010 that describes itself as a "smart journal to share moments of your life" with those closest to you. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, which are all about living out loud and accumulating followers, Path prides itself on being private allowing you to share with a select group of up to 150 friends.
While the app made headlines recently due to a recent privacy flaw, Path has continued to be a favorite among the tech community described by Le Web's Loic Le Meur as the place where the "A List hangs out, don't tell anyone". That secret is now out of the bag thanks to Spears tonight. It'll be interesting to see if her promotion of the platform leads to bigger numbers for Path.
While many experts have come out of SXSW Interactive promoting apps like Highlight that are all about blurring the lines of privacy and sharing your location with others at any moment in time, it might just be the path less taken that we'll be hearing more of in the near future.