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Early Success Stories: Fitness and Open Graph

August 29, 2012ByRose Yao

With more than 7,000 Open Graph apps, there’s something for everyone – including fitness fanatics. As people run, hike, bike and walk, they’re using mobile apps to share their fitness activity with friends, giving developers new ways to improve app discovery, drive installs and increase app activity.

  • Nike+ Running: With the Nike+ Running app, runners can post maps of their runs and key running stats like average pace and total distance covered. And, people can tag the friends they’re running with, making it easy to find their most frequent running buddies. As friends see people’s runs on Facebook, they can comment or like the story, which sends live audio cheers to the runner for extra motivation. Nike+ Running saw a 77% increase in traffic from Facebook after implementing Open Graph.
  • Endomondo: Endomondo turns mobile phones into free personal trainers, enabling people to share runs, hikes and bike rides with friends on Facebook. Since integrating with Open Graph in March, people share more than 90,000 workouts on Facebook every day, and traffic from Facebook has increased by more than 150%. They’ve had 11 million downloads, and referrals from Facebook mobile have grown by 400%.
  • RunKeeper: With 11 million users, RunKeeper enables people to track distance, time, pace, calories burned and routes of fitness activity. RunKeeper has seen daily Facebook installs increase by 3X since implementing Facebook Login. And since implementing Open Graph, they have seen a 25% increase in referral traffic from shared RunKeeper activities.
  • runtastic: runtastic’s apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone 7 make it easier to achieve fitness goals, enabling people to track all their fitness activities and share their success with friends. About one third of all registrations are now done via Open Graph, and most of these occur via mobile. Additionally, 20% of all activities are shared via Open Graph, and they’ve seen a 25% increase in traffic because of Facebook.

Best Practices

Use Facebook Login: Fitness apps like Endomondo use Facebook Login as an effective way to drive user sign-up on mobile. For more on getting started for iOS 3.0, click here, and for more on Android, see here.

Make stories contextual: Contextual stories generally result in better click through rates on Facebook. For example, using the map layout for news feed stories – as Endomondo does – makes the run much more interesting and encourages friends to click through to see it. Fitness apps should also consider adding friend tagging – as Nike does – so people can share who they’re running with.

Understand intent of user publishing: Be sure to utilize explicit sharing when a user is actively posting about non-routine fitness activity, such as a specific achievement. For example, RunKeeper uses the explicit share API to prompt users to share their completed activity, such as furthest distance achieved. Routine actions should be published without using the explicit sharing API, like how Endomondo shares all activities logged once a person authorizes the app.

We’re continuing to see fitness apps recognize the benefits of Open Graph, with apps like Livestrong, MapMyRun and MapMyRide recently launching. If you’re a fitness app developer, be sure to submit your app to App Center if you’ve not already.

For more information on getting started, please see our checklist, best practices and tutorial.