Strava, the fitness social network, is dramatically increasing prices for its paid users.
Some have reported that their price has gone up to as much as twice what it was before, after the new hikes.
But it remains unclear how much the price is actually increasing by. Strava said in its announcement that “price changes will vary depending on region and preferred platform”.
For some, that seems to be a small price increase: the annual plan in the UK has increased by just 15 per cent, for instance. But others have reported far more significant price increases, with prices going up by more than two-thirds.
The lack of clarity around the price changes even led respected sports technology blogger Ray Maker to conclude that Strava “seems to be hoping that nobody notices this price increase”. He said that he had been in detailed discussions with the company about how prices were changing, but that the company had failed to give him satisfactory information.
But, he noted, that meant only that users would receive a short email explaining that their price was going up, with little indication of why or what they were getting in return.
After some controversy on Reddit and other forums over the increases, Strava posted an update on its press site attempting to explain “why your subscription price changed”.
“As we continue to invest in your experience, our prices may change to better reflect new features and market conditions. The decision to change our price was not taken lightly and we want to share why this is happening,” it wrote.
The unsigned blog post pointed to a range of new features that have been added to the platform in recent years. That includes extra sports to track through the service and tools for building routes, some of which are exclusive to those who pay for the site’s “premium” option.
Strava has also moved more and more features behind that paid-for subscription. They include most parts of the site’s popular “segment leaderboards”, which allow people to rank their times over particular routes and roads.
The company suggested that the increased development costs to bring those features had led to the increase in price, though it did not say so explicitly.
“While our subscription price has largely remained constant for the past years, we also take local market conditions into consideration,” Strava wrote. “When costs and plans are adjusted, we’re always working to improve your experience and invest in the value delivered to you on a daily basis. Pricing decisions will continuously be evaluated to ensure we are offering the best value of our growing features to our community.”
The exact details of the price changes will depend on the location of an account as well as other factors. But Strava said that it will email people to alert them 30 days before the renewal date at the new price.
The new changes go into effect on 2 February, and the updated price should also appear on the Account section of the Strava website after that.
People who bought a subscription after 23 November, 2022, will also not see a price change, presumably because they are more likely to be already paying the higher price.