Social network Path is putting its own spin on mobile messaging, and it might be just useful enough to work. Thanks to an update on Tuesday, Path Talk, the company’s standalone messaging app, now allows users to text local businesses. That means your barber, your bank or your favorite watering hole are all, in theory, just one text away. Here’s how it works: You find your local business on the map within the Path Talk app. A chat box opens in much the same way it does when you send a message or text to anyone else in your contact list. Your message, which can be a general question (“when do you close?”), a reservation request, or any other question in between, is routed to a call center where a Path agent manually calls the business and asks your question for you. Then the call agent texts you back with an answer, hopefully in about five minutes, according to the company.

Read the full story at re/code.

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