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Fitness app Strava has introduced a new messaging feature that could enhance users’ dating life.
This week, the app announced a direct messaging feature to ‘coordinate adventures’ and ‘connect for inspiration.’
Strava, a mobile app used by 100 million people, lets you track exercises like running and cycling, but it also has elements of a social media platform: users can follow each other, comment on their activities and give ‘kudos.’
And now users can chat away from prying eyes – which TikTokers say will no doubt be used to kick off romantic connections.
Strava, a mobile app that lets you track exercises like running and cycling, has elements of a social media platform: users can follow each other, comment on their activities and give ‘kudos’
Strava user Olivia Witherite, 30, from Brooklyn, told The New York Times: ‘You come off a long run and you’re all sweaty, and you’re just going to fire off that risky DM.’
Users on social media have suggested the app could be used to plan jogging dates rather than the more traditional dinner or drinks.
Strava users have joked that the app could replace Hinge, a popular dating app. Fitness influencers on TikTok spitballed Strava-specific pickup lines, such as ‘Your pace or mine?’
However, much like getting cat-called in the street, some are worried that Strava may become a new place for sexual harassment.
Ms Witherite often posts her running route online, agreed: ‘The fact that someone could see one of my runs and know the general area I’m in and then DM me is a little bit of a safety concern.’
Strava has come under fire in the past over privacy concerns.
In 2018, security analysts said that Strava’s data could have revealed some military bases’ locations, putting service members there at risk.
And Kaitlin Armstrong, who shot and killed cyclist Moriah Wilson in 2022, was said to have used Strava to track her victim.
Zipporah Allen, Strava’s chief business officer, said that the app’s users have requested a messaging feature for a long time, but the company was reluctant to introduce it until it had developed privacy and safety guardrails to stop users getting unwanted messages.
Users can choose if they want to allow messages from anyone, only the people they follow, or no one at all. People can also block certain users.