Strava – subscribe and support a community

Don’t just give Kudos, give up one coffee shop visit a month

As a Strava user for many years, I’ve always skipped the in-App marketing call to pay for the app. Their recent podcast series, Athletes Unfiltered, was top and tailed with offers to get free months up-front if you hit a specific URL – thank golly for the Advance 15-second button in the podcast app. But this week a blanket e-mail was distributed by their founders that changed my perspective. It described the need to shift the majority of features into the subscriber version while still providing the basic functionality for the community. This message resonated with me for two reasons. The first being that the engines that drive Strava are people and computing power, neither of which are free and require financing. The second, my own employer has been transitioning to a subscription-based model for its software and it’s not a decision to take lightly. And so it makes perfect sense to me that in order for Strava to continue something has to change.

Apps that are typically free are free for a reason. Either the developer(s) are showcasing their skills with a hope to boost their career, perhaps providing something with an in-App hook where payment is needed to unlock further functionality or sense checking the market to prove an idea. And Strava has certainly proven it has a place in the market.

Until now I’d never seen any benefits in the Strava premium features as I have all the data I need in my Garmin account. I don’t care too much for segments and who has the crown, I’m no athlete so these are way out of my reach. I only use Strava for that community feel. To see the achievements, the photos and what others are doing motivates me.

Everyone has different devices to record their exercise and the companies that provide them focus on the output of the data. Yes, I’m well aware you can share information with friends if they own a device from the same manufacturer but it’s not ‘Strava-like’. It’s hard work and, I gave up using Suunto’s attempt years ago and Garmin’s isn’t much better. This is where Strava scores highly as it’s an aggregator of people and their data.

So I hit the button this week and subscribed to support Strava so I am able to continue to belong to a community, I hope if you’re a Strava user that you will too.

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