In most countries, it is mandatory that patent applications are filed by patent attorney or agent registered in that country on behalf of inventor. For those countries means of payment of fees from 'your account' is purely academic. What @ DonQuiKong has said about payment procedure is right.
However, few countries like the US, India allow filing by ...
Let's first pardon my impertinence to answer my own question in an area where my knowledge is only cursory.
The patent application of Snapchat was what might be construed as overly broad and most, if not all, of the functionality of WhatsApp's feature of ephemeral status updates infringe upon it.
But the actually granted patent significantly narrowed ...
Without a deeper dive, you might have a case against the broadest one of the independent claims: claim 10.
However, independent claims 1 and 15 also contain a pay-for-emoji feature:
"prompting the viewing user for payment information associated with the selected emoji;"
It is not clear at all if Path had this functionality.
That becomes a trademark issue, rather than patents as this site is about.
But in essence, the idea of a trademark is to protect consumers from potential confusion. Speaking in somewhat abstract terms, you might a high-end restaurant that begins using McDonald's Golden Arches logo as their own. You can imagine a consumer driving by, seeing that logo, ...
I think it might depend on how public that posting was. Both of those social networks have privacy settings which limit the exposure to your posts. Was it posted to a single individual? Probably not considered disclosure. Public to the world, probably considered disclosure.
However, any such could establish a date for invention.