Last year Strava was celebrating a significant milestone: no less than ten years making a niche for itself among all kinds of athletes, in particular cyclists.
And it has certainly not been time spent in vain – there is a before and after to Strava, and to deny that would be closing your eyes to reality. In these ten years, Strava has grown in 193 countries, covering 33 sports, and it continues to grow at the rate of 19 million activities per week and one million users per month who register their activity on the most popular social network.
At Strava they say, “sport is better in company” and they should know. Cyclists who go out in groups, go out early, enjoying the magical moment of the sunrise; groups that go out every month of the year and first found each other on Strava. Only torrential rain, extreme heat waves and January 1st’s hangover can stop them.
It is claimed that half of the Tour de France squad has a profile on Strava, where they post impressive rides with impossible performances, far from the average of mere mortals. That is also Strava.
Opinions for all tastes
A few days ago, Strava announced that a part of its services would become paid-for. This represents an important decision, since the culture of free is very widespread on the web, although placing value on those things that give value is understandable.
Obviously there are opinions of all kinds. Some comments are dismissive, “they have brought us to this point so that we make the platform for them and now they want everyone to pay” say some, a little disenchanted.
Others, however, applaud the decision, “you pay for quality” they state, along with: “What is not on Strava does not exist“. Indeed, it is the social aspect that is so fundamental to Strava, and constitutes the cornerstone of the payment project: “What others do is always a source of curiosity.”
The paid Strava is open to everyone, but especially to those who want that extra precision for their outings and plans, who measure everything in detail. This cyclist profile prevails in the new service, although it also depends on the GPS used, as some brands have their own platforms for users, such as Garmin
Strava defends its move to payment: we are talking about five euros a month, nothing more. A subscription that, given the volume that of traffic through the platform, will surely underpin the project’s profitability. “Strava has a strong presence,” it is said.
This simplifies things: there will be two types of users, paid and free. The first one will have access to any innovations plus other applications that also move across and that we will explain later. The reality is that free Strava has been really pared down.
Strava’s creators say that the subscriptions will make it possible to give greater value to the athlete, refine the applications and make economically viable the team of no less than 180 workers who make up the Strava workforce.
This period of impasse has served to plot out a new route for the platform that in 2020 alone incorporated fifty improvements, including updates to already active applications.
What changes on Strava?
In short, subscribers who are already on Strava can enjoy innovations such as route updates and recommendations, whether they access from iOS or Android. They can also access their performance over time on identical routes and a new way of competing in segments, something which is on its way.
The segments are the origin of everything on the web – they are the real star: the list of people who do them, times, comparisons and then route planning with improved maps. All this with better control over suspicious performances and better analysis data.
Strava has made the leap, now for the verdict of the people, although it is difficult to imagine anything other than a positive outcome for this endeavour, an endeavour on which the luck of the company depends.
By Ibán Vega El Cuaderno de JoanSeguidor