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Strava announces overhaul of its platform

The kings of kudos have made changes to the free and subscriber packages

trava now boasts over 55 million members, but this doesn’t mean that as a business, it can kick back and watch the kudos roll in.

As of today, Strava has announced some of the biggest changes to the platform since it launched in 2009 and it has focused on improving the subscription model for those who use the platform the most.

Most importantly, there will still be a free version of Strava that everyone can use. What’s changing is how much you can see and use of existing functionality, in particularly segments, training and routes.

You can still log a run/ride/swim/whatever and take part in challenges, but you won’t be able to dive deeper into the metrics of a segment, including leaderboards.

This means in the free version you’ll see the top 10 all-time and top 10 women, you can create a new segment, see the segment detail screen, still use the segment explore/search function, flag segments and see activity achievements like XOMs, CRs and PRs.

As a subscriber you’ll see all segment leaderboards, analyse segment efforts, compare your results to others and analyse your efforts.Matched Runs and Matched Rides are now also a subscriber feature.

Basically for £4 a month you get all the perks. Now I left it last night as there was a lot of discussion on social media both for and against the changes. However I don’t understand how anyone can moan about paying £4 when they same people spend hundreds on bikes, shoes, equipment, gear, races, travel etc. Yet this £4 will help keep the platform afloat as Strava have said they need to start making a profit or it might not be here in a years time. Personally I’ve used Strava for most of my running career and always been a premium payer in one form or another and will continue to do so.

This is their press blurb:

Dear Strava community, If nothing else, 2020 has been a year of regaining perspective. A silver lining of hard times like these is that they inspire introspection and focus – What matters the most to us? And how do we live up to that? Our answers to those questions have only gotten clearer in the past few months, and we’re now leading the company with a single purpose: rededicating Strava to our community. Strava athletes deserve an affordable and constantly improving experience, and we hope you’ve noticed how focused we’ve been this year on delivering that. Our small but mighty team of 180 has released 51 athlete-facing improvements already in 2020, from Apple Watch syncing, to new maps and metrics for snowsports, to a huge update to our Routes features, and a lot more.

We’ve also removed some distractions, such as Sponsored Integrations (the closest we’ve ever come to putting ads in the feed). And we returned the option to sort your feed in chronological order. We heard how much that change drove you nuts, and admit it took a really long time to respond.

Dedicating Strava to the community is also a commitment to longevity. We are not yet a profitable company and need to become one in order to serve you better. And we have to go about it the right way – honest, transparent and respectful to our athletes. This means that, starting today, a few of our free features that are especially complex and expensive to maintain, like segment leaderboards, will become subscription features. And from now on, more of our new feature development will be for subscribers – we’ll invest the most in the athletes who have invested in us. We’ve also made subscription more straightforward by removing packs and the brand of Summit. You can now use Strava for free or subscribe, simple. This focus on subscription ensures that Strava can serve athletes decades from now, and in an up-front way that honors the support of the athletes we serve today.

We plan to take what we earn from these changes and reinvest straight back into building more and better features – not devising ways to fill up your feed with ads or sell your personal information.

We simply want to make a product so good that you’re happy to pay for it. A monthly subscription costs as much as a couple energy bars, and we think that’s money well spent. But we also know, especially lately, that there are athletes struggling to make ends meet and that the free version of Strava must remain high quality and useful. Rest assured that we will always offer a version of Strava for free, and you belong in this community whether you subscribe or not. We’re betting all our chips on you, either way. We hope you’ll bet on us. We are beyond grateful for your business and your support, and thrilled to recommit ourselves entirely to you, our fellow athletes. Michael and Mark

New features for subscribers

  • A big Routes update, with planning & recommendations on iOS and Android
  • Matched Rides: Analyze performance on identical rides over time
  • See your full workout history with Training Log on iOS
  • Workout Analysis is now available for all activity types
  • Grade-Adjusted Pace (GAP) now on iOS and Android
  • Coming soon: A whole new way to compete on segments…

New subscription features that were previously free

  • Overall segment leaderboards (Top 10 view is still free)
  • Comparing, filtering and analyzing segment efforts
  • Route planning on strava.com, with a huge redesign launching soon!
  • Matched Runs: Analyze performance on identical runs over time
  • Training Log on Android and strava.com
  • Monthly activity trends and comparisons

Recent releases for all athletes

  • “Favorites first” feed settings and the return of the chronological feed
  • Improved impossible effort detection… False KOMs, QOMs, CRs dethroned!
  • Apple Watch uploading and improved sync to Apple Health
  • Recorded the drive home by accident? New mobile activity cropping
  • All activities now show both elapsed and moving time
  • New or improved analysis of power, cadence and swimming stroke rate
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