Photo and video sharing app Path has enjoyed less of the limelight than its Instagram and PicPlz rivals but the team will soon drop a new update which could bring users back to the service to try out its new features.

The Path team has been busy, most likely releasing Path 1.5 in time for the SXSW attendees to put it to the test, adding a new Facebook sharing option, a friend ranking feature and Filters, which are lovingly referred to as “Lenses”.

Facebook Sharing

Path’s Facebook sharing function enables users to share their photos outside of the service for the first time, meaning that each time a photo or video is captured using the app, it will be posted to your Facebook Wall too.

Path users that are also on Facebook get some love too. If you decide that Facebook might be a little too public, the team has ensured that privacy settings can be configured so that only the people you want to see it will do so.

Path Lenses

Path has introduced its own version of Instagram’s and PicPlz’s filters, launching Path Lenses and Path Premium Lenses. Put simply, the new lenses give users a chance to style their photos and videos in real-time, ensuring that its users can see what lenses capture the specific mood or type of environment.

Path 1.5 will allow users to use the Pro, Ansel, Instant, and Diana Lenses for free with additional “Premium Lenses” costing $0.99 each, starting with Old Time, The Grid, and 8-Bit.

Path has committed to releasing additional lenses in the future, further customising your photos and videos.

tumblr lhwle23oBp1qz6zw8 220x330 Path does an Instagram, adds Facebook Shares and Filters tumblr lhwlik5tHY1qz6zw8 220x331 Path does an Instagram, adds Facebook Shares and Filters

Path Activity and FriendRank

With the new update, Path users will be able to see what their friends make of their photos in real-time, giving users a way to see what their friends are viewing but also what they are enjoying.

Staying close to the friends theme, FriendRank has been added to help users connect with close friends to share their personal moments. With FriendRank, users can connect Path to their Facebook accounts, allowing the service to determine what it thinks are a users top 5 friends. If you are an existing user, Path will the same algorithm to power the recommendations on the new Friends tab.

For Instagram and PicPlz users, the new features will be similar to what you have already experienced. Path excels with its beautiful design, and by offering each user the chance to add only 50 friends, the network is a lot more intimate. Filters (or Lenses in this case) are all the rage and are helping Instagram add 130,000 users every week, Path couldn’t afford to be left behind.

By charging for Premium Lenses, Path suddenly has a revenue stream. Both Instagram and PicPlz have yet show how they will monetize their platforms, although we are sure they won’t be far off.

Path says that its update is coming soon – we recommend you take a look when it does because it looks like Path has just stepped up its game.

startuprally2 Path does an Instagram, adds Facebook Shares and Filters