I am not a health nut – not by any shakes (or shapes) but even I have to doff my cap to those guys at RunKeeper, who have tapped into a wonderful market of healthy peeps with some great social and mobile marketing. There new update is reported below and again shows what you can do when you get into the mind of your user base.
RunKeeper, just released version 3.0 to exploit the post-New Years health frenzy, with improved end-of-activity functionality for sharing pictures, especially over Twitter. Bolstered by a $10 million Series B, RunKeeper has ambitious aims to be the “facebook for health” for its growing community which now numbers over 14 million users.
Co-founder Jason Jacobs tells TechCrunch in an email that the more people share and engage, the more committed they are to their running goals. Naturally, letting them boast about their monumental run, like sharing a picture on top of one of San Francisco’s mountainous streets, motivates both the users and her friends. Indeed, social scientist James Fowler finds that friends have a powerful effect on their friends’ health–both good and bad. So, its not surprising that RunKeeper wants users communicating as loudly and as visually as possible.
RunKeeper also plays well in the health startup sandbox, integrating with health gadgets, such as calorimeter armband, BodyMedia, and motivational app, Gympact, which gives financial incentives for regular gym visits.
Version 3.0 sports a totally new look. Gone is the bold interface and in its place is a cleaner, sharper UI scheme. Along with the easier pic sharing, Runkeeper 3.0 lets premium members cheer each other on with live-tracking. As someone who just got back from a solitary weight-lifting session at the gym, I could have used some encouragement–virtual or otherwise.
So, my fit readers, wipe the post New Year’s Eve tequila off your chin, lace up those shoes, and go run like Forrest Gump being chased by a ravenous cheetah.