After spending much of 2020 developing new features only available to subscribers, social fitness platform Strava is taking a new tact. Today, it teased its new “slowest times” feature available only to non-subscribers.
The new slowest times feature expands Strava’s “Top Results,” which shows riders when they’ve achieved a personal best time, or top-1o overall time, on a segment. Now, Strava will show users, specifically the ones that still refuse to pay for its services, when they’ve set their slowest three times.
Just like when you set a personal best, slowest times will now lead to a notification and a small digital badge. Instead of just numbers, though, Strava is getting creative. The fitness tracking platform is using a range of emoji, including the poop emoji, thumbs down, and face palm, to indicate a rider has set one of their bottom three times on a segment.
Strava has defended the feature, saying it is an attempt to motivate riders to improve their performance.
“It is not,” a representative from the company assured us, “just bored programmers making fun of riders having a bad day.”
The new feature previewed on several pro rider profiles this week. Keen fans will have noted the trial run on Mathieu van der Poel’s ride profile from his underwhelming Dwars door Vlaanderen performance, where the usually-consistent Dutch star came unhitched from the chase group on the Knokteberg-Trieu. This led to several admonishments from Strava, including a poop emoji, face palm and a potentially pro-only crying cat face.
Early reports indicate non-paying users who have Strava profiles connected to Garmin devices will also hear a new audio cue notifying them of their slow time during their ride. The exact sound is being finalized, but beta versions tested included a loud buzzer noise and a fart sound.
Another non-subscriber feature being considered is a random word generator for ride titles. Instead of generic titles, like “Afternoon Ride” or “Morning Ride,” anyone who chooses to post workouts without choosing a witty title of their own will now see a random string of 3-6 words, some gibberish and some real, applied to their workout.
Super Premium memberships and real rewards
Strava is also reportedly considering a new Super Premium subscription service. The online fitness program pivoted to label paid users “subscribers” early in 2020. Since then, Strava has added numerous new subscriber-only features, as well as removing existing features from the free-version of the social platform.
While digital benefits are nice, some subscribers want more. Strava identified demand for a new “Super Premium” subscription level. For an increased monthly fee, Super Premium subscribers can access more tangible benefits beyond the standard training info and digital rewards.
Users who opt for the Super Premium subscription level will be rewarded with real crowns for segment KOM and QOMs. It’s unclear yet whether crowns must be returned to Strava if a segment title is lost or if crowns will be time-stamped to indicate the period which user held the fastest time.
The Super Premium subscription benefits extend to Local Legend status. But, due to their perishable nature, laurel wreaths will be available for pickup from select Strata-affiliated florists.
April 1st is here again – and this post is, unfortunately, satirical not real. But if anyone from Strava is reading this, I would actually love to see a “slowest times” feature come to life. But maybe let everyone in on the fun, not just non-subscribers. We all have less-awesome days on the bike. Seeing a poop emoji after a particularly slow day would bring a smile to more faces than just seeing another slow time, right?