Many Facebook applications help users get into shape or keep steady fitness regimens. Not all of them have become as wildly popular as RunKeeper, which was in the spotlight Tuesday on Facebook’s developers blog. RunKeeper found that those who connected their Facebook accounts to the app were much more active in real-life.
RunKeeper, which has 14 million users, allows people to keep track of their runs, share activity using Facebook’s open graph, and connect with friends. The app also encourages users to get friends to join, knowing that fitness plans are more successful when friends keep people motivated. RunKeeper allows users to compare their exercise stats with Facebook friends who have also connected with the app.
Runners can share the distances, times, and routes of their runs, as well as personal comments, and they can tag Facebook friends with whom they worked out.
Jon Gilman, RunKeeper product manager, said people who posted their activities to Facebook did 1.5 times more activities than those who did not. He talked with Facebook about how the app has taken off since integrating the social network:
People are posting to Facebook as motivation for themselves, and social is a great motivating power for our users. But the other side is that people who view activities via Facebook are motivated to embark upon their own fitness journeys … Facebook is the No. 1 source of referral traffic to RunKeeper, and we’ve seen a tremendous impact on both new user growth and retention from having users connect their accounts to Facebook and share through open graph.
RunKeeper has seen marked success on Facebook. Among those who share their activities on Facebook, the rate of continued use is 40 percent higher than those who don’t share. Daily Facebook installs have jumped threefold since RunKeeper added Facebook login. Adding map images to open graph stories (see above) led to 55 percent more impressions and 233 percent more clicks. When users connect their Facebook accounts to the app, there is a 70 percent increase in the likelihood that they’ll go out for their first run, walk, or bike trip.
Readers: Do you use RunKeeper?