GE, Facebook Gear Up For Olympics With Launch Of HealthyShare App

By David Cohen 

GE is tapping the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London for inspiration with Tuesday’s release of new Facebook application HealthyShare, using current and retired Olympians including Kevin Durant (basketball), Alex Morgan (soccer), Michael Johnson (track, retired), and Summer Sanders (swimming, retired) to motivate users to reach their health goals.

The app was created as the result of “a real partnership between GE and Facebook,” according to GE Global Executive Director of Digital, Advertising, and Design Linda Boff, and Kevin Knight, who works on creative strategy for the social network, joked, “I’ve become well acquainted with GE’s offices.”

Once users install HealthyShare, they can choose from three paths:

  • Get Moving: A reminder to users that a simple walk can raise LDL (good cholesterol), lower HDL (bad cholesterol), lower blood pressure, help manage weight, improve sleep, and bolster the immune system.
  • Eat Healthier: Users are encouraged to try changing just one thing they eat or drink, hopefully leading them toward healthier routines.
  • Work Out Like an Olympian: Durant, Morgan, Johnson, and Sanders provide their fitness routines to inspire others to reach higher, go further, run faster, dream bigger, do better, and live longer.

Once users make declarations via HealthyShare, the app becomes part of their timelines, allowing progress to be shared with friends, who, in turn, will provide more motivation.

Boff said hundreds of people had already checked out HealthyShare on Facebook since its launch earlier Tuesday, adding that the app’s game-like elements and leader board play into how people like to behave online.

GE intends to promote HealthyShare via Facebook, with Boff saying:

We’re going to lean on the Facebook platform. We’re big believers in the power of Facebook, but also that it’s important to reach people on the platform. We will also lean heavily on earned media. We’re pretty active in the ecosystem, on Instagram.

Health is a very big and important business for GE, but this is a consumer play. We’re not looking to talk about our ultrasound. This is really about reaching people and promoting better health, and how your friends are good for your health.

But what about after the Olympics? Boff said GE and Facebook are committed to HealthyShare, adding:

You are deliberately seeing a heavy Olympics emphasis right now. The Olympics is this collective global moment around health right now. We have every intention for the app to live on beyond the Olympics. This is a long-term commitment that GE and Facebook have together. What you’re seeing now is definitely the first step. We’re thrilled with the opportunity to do this around the Olympics.

Boff said in a release:

Whether your goal is to lose weight, walk more, or pursue an Olympic dream, GE believes that your friends can be good for your health. We want to give consumers a platform to get motivated around better health tapping into the Olympic spirit. HealthyShare makes it easy for consumers to take something they are already doing — interacting with their friends online — and extend it in a fun and meaningful way around getting healthier.

Facebook Global Head of Brand Design Paul Adams added:

Many research studies show that our friends can help us live healthier lives. By supporting each other, we increase people’s motivation, helping them meet their goals of feeling better, and being healthier and happier. This new tool by GE is the first step in a vision to help people be healthier by interacting with their friends. The plan is to learn quickly from this release and continually improve this tool together in the coming months.

Readers: Have you previously used any health-centric Facebook apps, and will you check out HealthyShare?