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Strava cuts off Relive: Here’s what actually happened

Strava cuts off Relive: Here’s what actually happened


Here I assumed the day before today used to be going to be a relaxed random July Thursday morning. Nothing however Italian chirping birds on the Giro Rosa, and catching the Tour de France later within the afternoon on TV. Turns out, Strava had other plans for it.

You see, the day before today morning Strava despatched out an electronic mail to customers of Relive (aka Relive.cc). You can have observed this app right here or there, however necessarily it allowed you to attach your Strava account (or different platform, together with Garmin) to Relive and so they’d generate a small film of your exercise together with footage and such. It used to be nifty and there have been quite a few customers (as so evidenced by means of my packed inbox with disappointed customers this morning).  The corporate says they have got tens of millions of non-Strava customers, plus the now non-existent Strava customers.

For the ones now not acquainted, right here’s principally what it created – the use of my journey two days in the past within the Italian Alps:

Relive ‘Italian Distraction’

Cool stuff, huh?

Yup – and Strava concept so too, as if truth be told over time Strava hosted the corporate for occasions, and Strava workers used Relive too. As did different platforms and corporations too in fact, because it used to be nifty. Visuals and information pass in combination nicely, and typically resonate extensively on social media. Win-win. Or now not, as Relive discovered the onerous means the day before today.

After discussing the placement with all sides the day before today and once more these days, I’ve were given a gorgeous transparent image of what’s occurring. Hang on, it’s a wild journey.

The Tides Turn:

It all began with an early morning (European time) electronic mail from Strava to Relive customers. While the primary few phrases began off great, it briefly took a flip for darker aspects. It used to be phrased in one of these means that implied Relive had achieved one thing terrible, grimy even:

“Many people at Strava have loved the use of Relive over the previous couple of years, however as a result of Relive’s contemporary updates, sadly, now we have made up our minds to finish this integration. The present model of Relive violates a number of of the phrases that we ask of API companions. These phrases are in position to safeguard your individual data, to make sure a degree enjoying box for all our companions, and to offer protection to what makes Strava distinctive. We’ve labored onerous with Relive to take a look at to mend this, however they have got in the end selected to not make the adjustments had to honor their settlement. So as of these days, Strava will not ship your actions to Relive for playback.


Rest confident, not anything’s modified about how your data is saved or the keep watch over you may have over the way it’s accessed by means of API companions. And we stay deeply dedicated to serving to our many API companions construct stories that make your exercises and races even higher.


As all the time, thank you for being part of the Strava group,
The Strava Team

Of direction, Relive then publicly posted a reaction– whole with SpongeBob meme. Ultimately a variant of ‘Strava got drunk, and is now ghosting us, help?’.


About this level you’re pondering to your self: OK, so what, Strava and a third birthday celebration app are having a confrontation. Why do I (otherwise you) care?

Well, the nuance of what they’re disagreeing about is actually tremendous interesting. Strava says that Relive violated their API phrases of provider.  Their API being the improvement hooks that hundreds of builders leverage, together with firms likes Garmin, Suunto, Zwift, Trailforks, Polar and lots of others. There are a large number of criminal prerequisites/laws in there – a few of them glaring (variants of ‘do no harm’), however a few of them much less well-meaning and extra anti-competitive.

To start, the primary situation that Strava states Relive has violated is the next:

“2b Strava reserves the suitable to revoke your API Token or terminate or prohibit any makes use of of the Strava API Materials if you happen to violate this Agreement or we in a different way object in your use of the Strava API Materials, together with however now not restricted to, makes use of that permit digital races or competitions and makes use of that mirror Strava websites, product or service

The daring phase is the bit Strava’s disappointed about, and translated to easy human English: Don’t do the rest that we have already got as a characteristic.

(I’ll indicate the truth that virtually each health/developer web page/app already does that, for such things as distance/pace/elevation/and many others… all technically Strava options which can be being duplicated.)

So what Strava characteristic is that which Strava disagrees with and believes violates their ToS?  The skill to have a social feed.

Yup, for actual.

But wait – Strava says that Relive actually broke two time period pieces right here, with the second being:

“2.okay.iv You won’t procedure Strava Data, together with in an aggregated or de-identified approach, for the needs of, together with however now not restricted to, analytics, analyses, buyer insights era, and merchandise or services and products enhancements. Strava Data will not be blended with different buyer information, for those or another functions.”

Now that is the place issues get whacky.  Basically Strava actually says of their phrases of services and products that you’ll’t do analytics on their information (aspect word: It’s now not ‘their data’, it’s your information…however we’ll come again to that during a 2d). That’s a humorous difference since the ones are – I child you now not – actually one of the vital similar class names (e.g. Analysis) they use for his or her third birthday celebration app show off/touchdown web page:


But it seems that that’s now not actually what were given Relive in hassle in this specific bullet level. Rather, it used to be the closing portion of that sentence:

Strava Data will not be blended with different buyer information, for those or another functions.”

What Strava is pronouncing this is that you’ll’t take information by way of the Strava API after which display it (or mix it) with different third birthday celebration information. In the case of Relive, that implies that Strava doesn’t need them additionally supporting uploads from Garmin, Polar, Suunto, and many others, as a result of then that mixes the information from different assets.

Which is moderately humorous – as a result of paradoxically sufficient, that’s actually precisely what platform large PathForks does (oh, and you’ll do analytics too):


The Trailforks Strava API integration means that you can pull on your Strava actions, upload them in your profile wherein different customers can apply you and your actions, browse them, – even get badges as observed under.

And what concerning the requirement for combining with different buyer information? Oh no downside – Trailforks does that too. You can add routes outdoor of Strava, in addition to actions. And heck, Trailforks even is going a step additional violating the API than Relive by means of making that to be had for utilization stats and analytics (harkening again to the former merchandise). All whilst doing so in an astoundingly transparent waft chart on their very own web page (see above).


Realistically, I may just stay discovering those examples. After all, I’ve best spent about 45 mins in this submit at this level, and I’ve were given a pile of giant and small third birthday celebration apps alike that theoretically broke those similar laws.

The actual explanation why I think is that Strava come what may sees Relive as a danger. Perhaps they’re, however actually I think they aren’t. They’re only a small third birthday celebration app that sought after so as to add some commonplace social options that Strava indisputably didn’t pioneer. After all, it’s the ones explicit social options that driven Strava over the road, as soon as Relive rolled them out closing week. All of the remainder of the buyer information combining and analytic bits were round for years on Relive with none Strava downside.

In truth, Strava even hosted Relive at Strava HQ two summers in the past for a Three-day tournament. And their VP of selling has also referred to as Relive ‘the best use of Strava’s API thus far’. At the time of the HQ consult with, Relive already had different third birthday celebration information connections together with Garmin, Endomondo, and Polar.

As for the from side to side in communications that all sides declare? Well, each are right kind, simply pronouncing it in a different way. Strava gave some warnings closing week, and Relive presented to rollback capability. But it seems that that wasn’t fairly just right sufficient, with Strava requiring further phrases that Relive couldn’t agree too. It’s unclear why Strava required further phrases of Relive rolled again the social capability for Strava customers.

No Strava, it’s now not your information:


But I need to circle again to one thing you notice over and over within the Strava API phrases of provider, which might be those two phrases: “Strava Data”

This time period ostensibly refers to might issues. It can and does come with Strava Segments, Leaderboards, footwear varieties, tool varieties, and naturally – process uploads. In the case of Relive, they weren’t the use of any of the ones issues aside from the closing, which is ‘Activity Uploads’.

But the issue is the ones exercise information are actually your information. It’s the information you generate whilst you add a exercise report to Strava’s platform. In the case of Garmin units that’s a .FIT report, from Polar a .TCX report, and so forth. Ultimately, it’s your information. GDPR enforces that as nicely, and Strava’s similar ToS even notes that too.

But Strava as a bunch turns out to fail to remember that.

In the case of Relive, that used to be my exercise add. I did that on a Garmin tool after which would have uploaded it to the Strava platform. Then, the use of Strava’s API, Relive would have accessed my monitor information and generated a gorgeous little video in response to my information. See what I did there: It’s now not ‘Strava data’, it’s ‘my data’. They didn’t use segments or leaderboards or my shoe sort. Just my monitor, and best my monitor.

I say that – as a result of it kind of feels like Strava’s forgetting that. It turns out like they’re forgetting that that is in the end information you create and also you authorize those apps to make use of in ways in which you’ve licensed. That’s all of the level of the API, and by means of and big third birthday celebration apps do incredible issues. Thousands of app builders have created fantastic apps – highlighted of their third birthday celebration app listing. But once more – after I signal directly to authorize an app (the use of the usual authorization web page you’ve observed numerous instances), I’m pronouncing that ‘Yes, I want the app to do that’.

And that’s the place apparently Strava turns out to misconceive the definition of ‘Strava data’. At that time I’m pronouncing ‘Yes, I want you to use my data that happens to be on Strava’s platform to create a nifty film’. Again – it’s my information, and in line with GDPR I’m in keep watch over of my information. Strava is simply a brief holder of it, now not in contrast to a financial institution.

Going Forward:


The problem right here for Strava and their apps is truly twofold. For app builders, it’s the truth that Strava re-interpret their phrases the instant they feels threatened. At least if you happen to’re small. It’s the very same tale that performed out closing summer time with Strava Live Segments, the place now smaller GPS tool producers (e.g. now not Garmin or Wahoo) must pay Strava a licensing charge for utilization of the Strava Live Segments capability of their units. It’s why you’ve observed that characteristic dry up during the last 12 months in more recent units available on the market. Because Strava depends upon firms like Garmin to transform paid Strava Summit subscriptions the use of their units, Strava can’t actually drive Garmin. Garmin would snort of their faces.

But for Strava itself it’s that they retain tripping on stuff they needn’t go back and forth on. One best wish to have a look at social media the day before today to peer how badly Strava misplaced within the social media recreation. They can have thrown the primary criminal punch, however they were given badly crushed by means of meme’s and the truth of annoyed customers calling Strava a bully.

And whilst Strava’s adjustments a 12 months in the past round renaming Premium to Summit have been most likely just right for the corporate, they have been ridiculed within the feedback phase for the title, with maximum customers pronouncing a variant of ‘How about developing features instead?’.  Which they did again in January.

For the primary time in years they evolved a brand new Strava finger-dragging direction advent characteristic, best to have fact strike a couple of days day later when it used to be discovered they actually painstakingly duplicated a third birthday celebration app (whole with IP logs appearing Strava HQ, Borne Identity taste). And now right here we’re a 12 months after Strava introduced Summit – with but nonetheless no new options. Instead, we’ve simply were given legal professionals from Strava protective turf that isn’t actually theirs to offer protection to.

It’s thus moderately ironic that Strava’s personal breakup letter to Relive customers actually sums all of it up the most efficient: “Rest assured, nothing’s changed about how your information is stored or the control you have over how it’s accessed by API partners.”

However, it’s lacking the following line to finish it and make it extra correct. So I’ll end it for them: “Ultimately, what’s changed is that we sat down and decided that instead of creating new features for you as Strava users, we’d spend that time on removing functionality from the greater Strava ecosystem.”

Seems about proper.


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