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Beyond a fitness app –
How Strava conquered their users’ commitment & loyalty


  • How to transform new app sign-ups into engaged users

  • How to use gamification to bring into play the power of community

  • Gamification can be adapted to any type of service

Strava is a fitness-tracking app that helps professional athletes and amateurs to track their physical activities. In 2022 Strava had 95 million active users, with two million added every month.

These key statistics reveal that Strava excels at bringing in new users, but what’s more important is that Strava distinguishes itself by turning new sign-ups into active and engaged users on the Strava app.


If you ever wondered how to break the challenge of making your app sticky, let’s take a look together at how Strava did it and how you can learn from it. Ready? Steady? Go!


At its core, Strava simply tracks workouts, but that’s just what any other fitness app does, right? Well, Strava did more than that. 

In the sports world, being part of a community is the engine that motivates players to keep going without giving up. To transfer the community feeling in its app, Strava armed with an engaging weapon – gamification.


Here’s what you can learn from Strava gamification mechanics:

Use the power of network – Give your users access to a social network that allows for communication and encouragement. On Strava, users can follow each other’s progress and give ‘kudos’, features that reinforce social validation and inner motivation.

Sustain motivation with challenges – Strava introduces group challenges where users establish identical objectives to determine who can reach them. Challenges can also be individual, so when a user accepts a challenge, his progress will be tracked and rewarded when completed. 

Boost competition with leaderboards – The Strava leaderboard ranks the athletes that match the same activity. Leaderboards activate the fever of competition among users who seek social recognition or simply enjoy engaging in friendly competitions with their Strava friends.


We looked together into a few of the gamification features Strava smartly introduced. With these features Strava not only became one of the top fitness apps, but it conquered the user’s commitment and engagement in the long run.

There’s a good reason why people say “If it’s not on Strava it didn’t happen”.

One of the most efficient ways to make your app sticky is to transcend the simple functional value of your app like Strava did. They gave an authentic meaning to their app by supporting the power of community with gamification features. 

Gamification was for Strava a natural fit. But with just a bit of creativity and the proper support, gamification can be implemented in any kind of service.