At times, unlocking your phone to a malady of applications and notifications is daunting, enticing feelings of self-doubt. Users can feel demotivated by their experience, generating a counter intuitive experience.
The international fitness app, Strava, is leaving a different legacy.
With 42 million subscribers, and 1 million new users joining every month, this quickly growing application is an athlete’s dream. And research shows that it’s a great boost for users’ mental health. This go-to tool for athletes and fitness enthusiasts hosts a plethora of features, not just recording user activity, but also tracking statistics, creating routes, and serving as a social network for users to share feedback and advice.
– GPS systems that track users’ routes, offering users insight on any route segments, distance, gradients, potential speeds, etc. Route data is exported and shared to all riders’ GPS systems, informing athletes and providing a clear and safe route.
– Users can post photos and race reports, allowing for not only a comparison of their stats to athletes of the same tier, but also creating a log for users to look back at their progress and improvements.
– Users can ask their community questions.
– The Safety Pack feature allows users to share their live location with their chosen list of safety contacts.
– The Analysis Pack tracks your heart rate and power output, providing you with real-time analysis of your movement.
And what is more exciting about this agile application, is that research studies show that it is a social media platform that, defying the odds, actually boosts users’ morale and happiness. As compared to the likes of Facebook and Instagram, users actually leave the app happier than when they first logged on.
A study on Strava, conducted by Glasgow Caledonian University, highlighted the fact that Strava users benefit greatly from this particular social media experience. This boils down to the fact that the Strava community is motivational and inspirational. Among a sample of 80,000 participants, 89% reported feeling happier because of exercising regularly, and 83% were motivated specifically by using Strava, and interacting with their community. 44% of those surveyed stated that using Strava improved their social lives. Users are able to offer their encouragements, in turn, receiving the same feedback from fellow athletes.
CEO of Strava, James Quarles explains, “Training is hard, it’s intimidating, it’s lonely… People love how our product connects them with other people, lifts them up, challenges them… and helps them go further. That’s where the social aspect of our community plays such a huge role.” With a support system surrounding you, it doesn’t have to be lonely anymore.
Activities posted on Strava are eight times more likely to receive feedback, ensuing social interactions, as compared to posts on any other platforms. And when users are encouraged to post more, it means they move more. Feedback generating more interaction encourages users to post more activities, encouraging them to be more active.
In a world of criticism, it is important to learn to compare yourself to only yourself, and not others. Strava users create an activity log for themselves, and instead of looking at other users’ scores, they look at the improvement that happens along the way. Of the 176 riders at this year’s Tour de France, 120 of them uploaded their results on Strava, going to show that enhancing your performance is for everyone.
Thank you for tuning in to this week’s Social Speak!
We’ll be back next week with more updates on social.