Community managers who prize user engagement might do well to take a good look at New York-based fitness and gamification startup Fitocracy, whose community-driven engagement platform has secured greater user engagement than Twitter since its launch in October 2010. And it’s poised to generate some handsome revenue with its latest offering, a group fitness pilot straightforwardly named “Group Fitness.”
Now boasting 1 million users (and counting), Fitocracy’s meteoric success has been largely due to the addictive appeal of its gamification and its clever quantification of fitness data for individual users. But if that’s what gets people started, it’s the encouragement factor that keeps them coming back for more. Of that, its founders Dick Talens and Brian Wang are in no doubt.
Any seasoned community manager will know that if something fosters engagement on a social network, it’s probably worth amplifying. And that’s precisely what Group Fitness has been designed to do. It lets users choose a private community of fellow fitness enthusiasts — a community complete with its very own personal trainer.
Unparalleled internet-based fitness success
As Talens puts it, “We think that this is what is going to make Fitocracy a billion dollar company. If you look at fitness spend in the last decade, a relatively small amount of money has shifted from offline to online. That shouldn’t make sense. People and products should get paid if they yield results, and from what we’ve seen on Fitocracy, the Internet is often unparalleled when it comes to getting people fit.”
The personal trainer in Group Fitness will offer 24/7 access to members for Q&As and feedback, as well as personalized fitness and diet plans. Coaches will eventually modify the latter according to the user’s progress. There are four different Group Fitness offerings in the pilot phase, ranging in price from $50 to $77. They last for between two to four months.
Community managers reading this don’t have to be math wizards to work out that by giving input to multiple users, the cost of personal training for group members will be slashed (go to a fitness center and you can expect to pay hundreds of dollars an hour for a personal trainer’s guidance).
This looks like it’s going to fly.