Nike+ Problems Show That Social Media Success Can Be Tricky

By Kenna McHugh 

Nike created a customer-focused online social media platform called Nike+ with a huge success, but the sportswear manufacture paid a price for such a success.

Nike+ is a unique sensor in its running shoes that measures the pace and distance of a user. The results can be uploaded to the Nike+ community site, where people can keep track of runs and compete with other members of the Nike+ social media platform.

The site has been a huge success; however, there have been some application problems caused by too many users. First of all, Nike+ members received an e-mail apologising for several problems over recent months. Some users have reported not being able to log in, sync devices, share runs or edit their profiles. I would say that  is a problem.

Even when I went to the site there was a notice that said, “We are experiencing intermittent issues related to logging into We apologize for the inconvenience and are working to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.”

I could not log in to the site and tried several times. Since I knew about the problem based on my article, I was not very frustrated. But, I am sure if I was a runner, who want to report a top run worth reporting to my community, it would be upsetting to say the least.

Computer Weekly reports that Nike sent an e-mail stating that Nike+ is not about the excuses but rather about what solutions they can put in place to solve the problem.

Instances like this can be very damaging to the brand of the company involved. Instead of offering an inclusive user experience, Nike decided to offer an exclusive and controlled environment, but that means taking full responsibility for problems.

In other words, Nike created Nike+ on a platform other than the more established social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter. Although it made the site more secure, it did not hold up on its own.

New Nike+ site to launch in 2012

Ryan Greenwood, Nike head of PR & communication UK, told Computer Weekly that it has been working to address issues with logging in, syncing devices, sharing runs and editing profiles. “These issues are not affecting all Nike+ members. However, we understand that there are still some issues with the site and our number one priority is to address those.”

With that said, a new Nike+ site will arrive in early 2012. Nike is promoting that the new site will be faster, more social and easier to use. Nike will perform “extensive testing to ensure the migration to the new site is as seamless as possible,” says Greenwood.

It is a wise move by Nike to make the changes and improvements to correct their social media problems. Then, users can spend more time on the running trail than dealing with a faulty platform. I am curious to see how the new site will look and perform. Will it be like Facebook or Google+? Perhaps, it will stand on its own with a whole new application yet to be introduced.