Facebook Apps Help Users Keep New Year’s Resolutions

By David Cohen Comment

Two of the most common New Year’s resolutions, losing weight and and quitting smoking, are more easily kept through using Facebook applications that tap into positive peer pressure.

However, a number of apps in the category with decent monthly user totals aren’t available, making us wonder whether these tools are undergoing upgrades to leverage Facebook’s improved open graph as announced this September.

On the diet and exercise front, MyFitnessPal, with 9,000 monthly users, did not offer a description on its page, and the app was misconfigured.

MyDiet, with 600 monthly users, provided a lengthy description, but trying to load the app resulted in an error message.

Even more surprising, industry kingpin Weight Watchers, with 20,000 monthly users, claimed to have an app, but clicking on the button brings users to the company’s website.

Turning to smoking, Livestrong MyQuit Coach: Dare to Quit Smoking, with 400 monthly users, resulted in the same lack of content or app as MyFitnessPal.

As for apps that did actually work, in the diet and exercise category:

  • LilySlim Weight Loss Tickers, with 500 monthly users, uses hand-drawn graphics to display users’ achievements in weight loss, exercise, and diet.

  • Fit-ify! Exercise Tracker allows users to track running, cycling, swimming, aerobics, and other exercise activities, giving out awards for reaching milestones. Unfortunately, the app does not yet support secure browsing (via a https://).
  • Perhaps the most interesting app we found, DietVille — which is not from Zynga, but resembles the Facebook game giant’s offerings, such as FarmVille and CityVille — brings a social gaming aspect to the process, pushing users within game play to lose weight and meet their goals.

And to aid Facebook users in the quest to quit smoking, there’s:

  • QuitNow, with 2,000 monthly users, actually directs users to an app for iPhone and Android devices that tracks information such as day of a user’s last cigarette, days without smoking, cigarettes not smoked, money saved, time saved, and the ability to share results via Facebook and Twitter.
  • QuitometeR, which boasts 1,000 monthly users, describes itself as “a community of ex-smokers and smokers who want to quit smoking,” and it displays time since quitting and money saved on users’ Facebook profiles.

  • Stop Smoking Counter, with just 200 monthly users thus far, provides similar statistics to QuitNow and QuitometeR, but unfortunately, it also does not yet support secure browsing (via an address beginning with https://).

Readers: Are you using any Facebook apps to help yourselves lose weight, quit smoking or meet other goals?