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A number of of Fitbit’s neighborhood options will likely be eliminated on March twenty seventh

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Fitbit customers: higher one-up your mates in challenges when you nonetheless can. Beginning March twenty seventh, Fitbit will take away all adventures, challenges, and open teams from its app.

It’s a hanging transfer. Earlier than 2019’s Google acquisition (and closure in 2021), Fitbit often touted its neighborhood and social options as a serious power. Its challenges — competitions between Fitbit customers — have been a part of Fitbit’s platform for over 10 years and copied by almost each different smartwatch and fitness-tracking platform. Adventures had been launched later as a kind of immersive problem, the place customers may take digital excursions of locations like Yosemite Nationwide Park whereas hitting step objectives. In the meantime, open teams are precisely as they sound: teams the place anybody can be a part of round a standard curiosity. Many have a number of hundred thousand and even tens of millions of members.

Fitbit’s open teams have hundreds and even tens of millions of members.
Screenshot: Richard Lawler / The Verge

After March twenty seventh, nonetheless, customers will solely be capable of create personal closed teams with mates. To attach with different customers, they’ll have to take action on Fitbit’s Health & Wellness forums. In the meantime, any trophies earned can even now not be out there. As an alternative, members should work together with mates through the Leaderboard and Group Feed posts within the app. Customers could have till March twenty seventh to download their data.

For builders, Fitbit can also be eradicating Fitbit Studio in favor of its command-line software program growth equipment (SDK). Fitbit Studio was for builders who needed to create clockfaces, in addition to third-party apps for the platform.

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The transfer is purportedly half of a bigger plan to higher combine Google’s tech. In an e mail to The Verge, Fitbit mentioned these options had been of “restricted use.” Within the case of the SDK, it is smart as Google has been pushing its WearOS 3 platform, and third-party apps had been faraway from Fitbit’s newest Versa 4 and Sense 2 smartwatches. If, nonetheless, the neighborhood options had been actually “restricted use,” that’s a troubling signal concerning Fitbit’s person base.

“Fitbit discovered that these choose options had a restricted variety of lively customers in comparison with different choices, however are unable to verify particular numbers at the moment,” Nicol Addison, head of communications at Fitbit and Nest, advised The Verge in an e mail.

Final week, the Fitbit app suffered a multiday server outage that left customers unable to sync their data. However whereas the timing of this information is curious, Addison says that the choice to take away older Fitbit options is “unrelated to any latest server outage.”

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