Melanie Chase
Director of International Product Marketing
View from the Top

Connectivity Inspires Fitness

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 17:17

Q: How does Fitbit create user engagement? What makes the company a fitness social network?

A: Fitbit has one of the largest online communities in the world and the Fitbit app helps users find and engage with family, friends and coworkers, creating positive network effects that reinforce user engagement and increase retention. As of the end of 2015, we had 16.9 million active users worldwide, up 152 percent year on year. Our growing user base has increased activity, taking 50 percent more steps YoY in 3Q16. Over the past year, there has been a 98 percent increase in the number of users who have at least one friend on the Fitbit platform and, on average, Fitbit users have more than six friends, a 23 percent increase from 2015.

We are continually looking for new ways to encourage our community to engage with Fitbit and each other. At CES Las Vegas we introduced Community, a new section in the Fitbit app that offers more ways for users to connect with others to build on and inspire them on their path to better health. Within Community, users will have access to Feed, Friends and Groups, all with the goal of providing a more appealing social experience. Feed is a new feature that provides an engaging way to connect with friends, family and groups of like-minded individuals so users can find added support and inspiration to reach their health and fitness goals. Friends easily connects users to others across the globe where they can stay encouraged to climb the leaderboard, as well as cheer, taunt and direct message friends and family as they compete to get the most steps. Groups lets users discover and join communities of likeminded people to help support and inspire them on their journey. They can choose from over 20 groups related to fitness, nutrition, wellness and weight loss. Community will be available later this year to all Fitbit users.

Q: How important is technology in creating a state of health consciousness?

A: It is undeniable that technology helps us to be connected, which is why Fitbit is introducing new tools that deliver inspiration, personalization and smarter guidance to help drive behavior change and maximize positive health outcomes. To provide a complete picture of how a user’s daily activity adds up, our devices are designed for all-day wear to show how the small steps users take each day can have a big impact on their health. We also know social connections help provide the motivation and support that is fundamental to a user’s health and fitness journey. For example, we have found that Fitbit users with one or more friend connections move more, taking on average 700 more steps than users without friends.

Based on aggregated and anonymous data from over 1 million Fitbit users, we found that, on average, some users can be sedentary for up to 90 minutes at a time throughout the day, which is a significant amount of time for the typical 9-to-5 office worker. Getting up to move for even just two minutes every hour can help chip away at those sedentary periods and we have made it a point to encourage that with our Reminders to Move feature. We know that every user has a unique set of needs that requires different forms of guidance. With Fitstar by Fitbit and Personal Goal Setting we are delivering a more personalized experience with unique insights and guidance to empower users to achieve their goals.

Q: Fitbit has partnered with Qualcomm and UnitedHealthcare (UHC). What projects will these alliances develop?

A: We are thrilled with these new partnerships. In the US we partnered with UHC to offer the top-selling Fitbit Charge 2 to members of UHC’s Motion program, an employersponsored wearable device wellness program that rewards participants with up to US$1,500 in reimbursements for achieving specific health goals. This is the first time Fitbit has designed a custom feature on a device and Qualcomm played a role in providing technological capabilities and horsepower. In the future, our two companies will focus on new UHC health programs and services that incorporate the latest generation of wearables, medical devices and home diagnostic tests that utilize Qualcomm Life’s 2net™ Platform for medical-grade connectivity.