It’s been a while since we’ve heard from the social fitness mavens at Fitocracy – they’ve been doing plenty of behind-the-scenes work, and now they’re ready to share the fruits of their labor. After spending over a year hunkered down in private beta mode, the RPG-esque exercise tracker and 500 Startups graduate has finally opened its doors to the general public.
Here’s their gist, if you haven’t heard it already — after a workout, you log all of your exercises and receive points for them. Earning enough points will cause you to level up, while earning points in certain exercises unlocks new achievements. The service also includes quests for the particularly motivated, along with a strong social component to get users commiserating and sharing workout tips.
In short, it aims to rewire the way users think about exercise, and Fitocracy CEO Brian Wang tells me the formula has struck a chord with nearly 300,000 users.
The team kicked things off yesterday when they launched a revamped version of the Fitocracy site — all of the fitness-tracking functionality remains the same, but has been redesigned to feel cleaner and more spacious. There’s also a more pronounced focus on the users and the content they create, as profile pictures are now prominent and user exercise logs are bigger and more streamlined. According to Wang, it’s all meant to build user engagement, which should come in handy for their future plans to generate more revenue (all of which are on the down-low for now).
Here’s my thing though — while the revamped website is a nice touch (albeit with a few kinks that need to be worked out), the new Fitocracy iOS app is really where it’s at. You see, the Fitocracy of yore only really worked well if you were using a computer to do all your exercise logging. The problem is, of course, it’s very unlikely that you’re packing your laptop to the gym everyday.
When Fitocracy tiptoed into the mobile space with a phone-friendly version of the website, it was (and still is) a decidedly barebones affair. The site’s basic mechanics still worked, but absent was the ability to interact with Fitocracy’s dedicated community of exercise junkies. It was sort of like exercising in an echo chamber — you got the physical benefits of working out, but you were unable to see how much harder you pushed than your schlubby best friend.
The new iOS app is a considerable step forward, and finally lets users get full functionality out of the service without having to dash to a computer. The track button placed prominently along the app’s dock, and the act of adding a new set of, say, diamond pushups, is a breeze.
That button is also bounded by options to view your friend feed and the groups you’re part of — what makes Fitocracy Fitocracy is that strong social component, and it’s great to see it find its way to the mobile side of the service. Want to keep tabs on your rival and his huge exercise score? Feel free. Would you rather shoot an encouraging messaging to a buddy who’s been having a tough time lately? Go right ahead.
Oh, and did I mention that the app is pretty damned handsome too? Fitocracy users have probably jumped on it already, but the app is now live in Apple’s App Store.