MyFitnessPal, a popular online service for tracking your exercise and nutrition, is launching an API today allowing users to sync their accounts with devices and apps from other companies.
The initial partners include Fitbit, Endomondo, runtastic, and Body Media — which all offer some sort of fitness tracking, either through your smartphone or a special device of their own. Previously, if users wanted to bring that exercise data into their MyFitnessPal diary, they had to manually enter it. Starting today, they can sync their accounts with API partners, so that MyFitnessPal is automatically updated with data from outside services.
This could be pretty powerful for MyFitnessPal, making it a ubiquitous health diary that’s useful no matter which other devices or services you choose. Asked if it was a challenge to convince other companies to share their user data, co-founder Mike Lee said, “Not really. I think all of our partners saw that this really makes sense. And again, their users were also asking for this.”
For now, the API is private, so that MyFitnessPal can hand-select its partners. (The company is highlighting all of its current partners in the app gallery here.) At the same time, Mike Lee and his co-founder (and brother) Albert Lee said they’re definitely excited about seeing new use cases that they couldn’t have thought up on their own.
MyFitnessPal is also sharing some numbers about its growth today, specifically the fact that it now has 30 million registered users. Mike Lee said the company has been relatively quiet about its success, at least in speaking with the press, but now the team feels ready to call attention to the fact that it has built a big user base.
As you might expect, there has been a mix of users “who used MyFitnessPal every day for the past three years,” and others who use it for a while then fall off the wagon. Mike Lee said that in part, that’s reflection of the variety of the userbase: “There isn’t one stereotypical user.” He did note that people who used the social networking features tended to have more success.
That kind of scale gives the startup unique advantages, Lee added. It certainly made the API more compelling for its partners, and also allowed MyFitnessPal to enlist its community’s help in building up a food database with 2 million items.