Strava now lets people follow runners and cyclists for free

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Strava is now offering its “Beacon” feature for free, allowing people to follow runners and cyclists as they do their workouts.

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The device — which is intended to help people feel safe while exercising, although it’s also useful for connecting with people in the middle of a workout — has long been part of Strava’s premium offering, but it said it’s no longer available. Will add it to the free tier.

This contrasts with a wider trend with the app, which in recent times has prompted more and more people to pay for its subscriptions by putting an increasing number of features behind their payments.


Strava said the decision was taken to ensure that people feel safe while using the app. It’s part of a series of updates that aim to keep people’s home, work and other places private, including new ways to limit who can see where workouts start or end.

“Strava is a place for anyone who sweats and we want to help every athlete feel safe in their sport. To better support the safety and peace of mind of athletes, we have decided to make our live-location sharing feature Beacon accessible to everyone in our community, whether or not they subscribe to Strava. Starting today, any athlete in the world can use Beacon for free when they record an activity with our mobile app,” said Michael Horvath, Strava CEO.

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“When I go out for a ride, I send a beacon to some family members. The beacon helps me stay safe and I think it motivates them to get out and be more active.”

Beacon allows people to share their location with up to three different people, who will be able to see live updates until the end of their journey. They can be set to be notified every time an activity is started, or manually each time.

This is limited to the mobile version of Strava, which is used as an app on people’s phones. While Strava’s Beacon works on other devices – such as Apple Watches, or Garmin cycling computers – that version will continue to require payment, apparently as a result of the additional complexity involved in getting it working.


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