Facebook’s Open Graph Working Out Nicely For Fitness Apps

By Justin Lafferty 

Facebook users love announcing workout results. Luckily, they’ve got a variety of ways to do so. The site’s developers blog Wednesday highlighted four such applications that have taken advantage of Facebook’s Open Graph to find success on the social network. With these apps, users can post a map of their run, gain a personal trainer in their pocket, count calories burned and share successes.

Apparel giant Nike developed one of the apps to gain publicity on the blog, with its Nike+ Running app. It allows users to post maps of their runs and share key running stats like average pace and total distance covered. Users can add friends with whom they’re running. The app has found another really cool way to integrate Facebook into fitness: as friends comment on or like your workout, the app will actually audibly cheer you on. The more activity, the louder the cheers. Facebook Product Manager Rose Yao claims in the blog post that Nike+ Running saw a 77% increase in traffic from Facebook after implementing Open Graph.

Here’s a look at the Nike+ Running app:

Endomondo, which turns a smartphone into a personal trainer, has seen a flurry of success since adding Open Graph. Yao noted that people share more than 90,000 workouts on Facebook every day via Endomondo and traffic from Facebook has grown by more than 150 percent. The app has 11 million downloads and referrals from Facebook mobile have grown by 400 percent.

Yao also touted the success of RunKeeper, which taps into the GPS power of Apple and Android devices. The RunKeeper app tracks distance, time, pace, calories burned and the path. Data is also saved on the RunKeeper site, allowing fitness buffs to examine their progress. The app has 11 million users, and Yao claims that daily Facebook installs have increased three-fold since implementing Facebook Login. Since implementing Open Graph, RunKeeper has seen a 25 percent increase in referral traffic from shared RunKeeper activities.

Runtastic tracks running statistics and gives users a verbal boost from their friends when they comment. The app keeps tabs on a variety of activities — running, walking, biking, hiking, and more — and allows users to share their activity on Facebook. Yao states that roughly one-third of all Runtastic registrations are now done through Open Graph — most of these coming through mobile. Facebook notes that 20 percent of all Runtastic activities are shared through Open Graph, and the app has seen a 25 percent increase in traffic because of Facebook.

So what are these apps doing right?

They use Facebook login, as evidenced here by Endomondo:

They add context to stories. Instead of just posting, “Hey, I’m out for a run,” users can post a map of their run and their emotions or share a significant milestone or even just comment about the weather that day. This gets their friends involved, making exercise a much more social activity. The apps also understand when to share content, such as goals reached or a personal best time.

Readers: What Facebook-based apps do you use to keep track of your fitness?

Images courtesy of The Anti-Jared on Facebook, Shutterstock and Facebook.