MapMyFitness's first big announcement since it was acquired by Under Armour is Activity Feed, a new more in-depth social sharing platform for MapMyFitness users. MapMyFitness general manager Chris Glode told MobiHealthNews that the Activity Feed has been in the works for a while and is not a product of the acquisition.
"Certainly there's a lot of users who are very open about their fitness and they do want to share it on Facebook and Twitter, and that's something we've always allowed -- in fact it's been a big source of new traffic for us," Glode said. "But we also find that there's people like a group of soccer moms who are trying to lose weight who join MapMyWalk together. They don't necessarily want to share all their data with their Facebook and Twitter audiences, but they want to share it with each other, with their MapMyWalk community."
With the activity feed, MapMyFitness users will see a Facebook-like social feed of all of their friends who have chosen to share with them. They can share and like workouts, routes, and updates. MapMyFitness will also use the data to calculate averages and reward users who are in the top 10 or 20 percent for their activity, age, and gender, and generally show users how they're doing relative to their community.
MapMyFitness connects to a number of different activity trackers (over 400 devices according to Glode), many of which have their own social feeds. But Glode says MapMyFitness adds value by allowing people who use different devices to share and compete with each other.
"So as people are innovating more fitness devices, MapMyFitness is positioned at a location where if you use a Fitbit, and I use a Garmin, there's one place where we can all compete and share information over time," Glode said. "Likewise we think that people's needs change over time. So maybe you're hardcore into cycling today and you use a cycling computer, but next year you're more into running and you use a running-centric device. MapMyFitness is a place that's compatible with all those devices so as your needs and interests change throughout the course of your fitness journey, there's one place where you can have a consistent history of all of your fitness data over time."
This open platform strategy is one reason MapMyFitness and Under Armour were so compatible, Glode said. But there is one big difference between the two also: MapMyFitness focuses primarily on individual sports like running and cycling, while Under Armour has a strong focus on team sports. Glode said the Activity Feed will help provide a framework for the company expanding into more team sports.
"With Under Armour's strength in team sports, the Activity Feed is a really nice fit there, because as we increasingly onboard sports teams and different organizations onto the platform that social element is really relevant to reach out to people who want to get fit together and want to work out together," he said. "Our strategy with Under Armour for the first year has been, keep doing what we're doing. The MapMyFitness community is growing tremendously fast, we feel we have a lot improvements to make on the core product for our core userbase. So we're not going to be making any big directional changes or any big strategic shifts in the near term. ... Over time, we'll be looking to combine the strengths of MapMyFitness and UnderArmour."