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This article was published on August 29, 2012

Healthy numbers: Facebook says fitness apps such as RunKeeper and Nike+ are thriving off Open Graph

Healthy numbers: Facebook says fitness apps such as RunKeeper and Nike+ are thriving off Open Graph

Last September at its annual F8 Conference, Facebook unveiled a new version of its Open Graph. Based around the notion that different actions have different meanings, Facebook opened the door to a slew of media apps, with a focus on frictionless, serendipitous, real-time sharing. This was subsequently opened to any developer in January, and to date there has been more than 7,000 Open Graph apps launched.

Based against this backdrop, Facebook has announced some figures around the success of its fitness-related Timeline apps. “As people run, hike, bike and walk, they’re using mobile apps to share their fitness activity with friends, giving developers new ways to improve app discovery, drive installs and increase app activity,” writes Rose Yao, Product Manager at Facebook.

By way of example, Yao points to Nike+ Running, which lets runners map their runs on their iPhones and Android devices, and post to their Timeline alongside key stats such as average pace and distance covered. With Facebook integration, folk can also tag people they went running with. According to Facebook, Nike+ Running saw a 77% increase in traffic from Facebook after rolling out Open Graph integration back in June. It’s worth noting here that this is just a rise in traffic specifically from Facebook.

Similarly, Runtastic – see our previous coverage here – has apps for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone 7. Users can track their fitness activities and share these to their Facebook Timeline. The social network says that one third of Runtastic’s registrations are now done via Open Graph, with most of these happening via mobile. Additionally, a fifth of all activities are shared via Open Graph, and it saw a 25% increase in traffic overall due to Facebook integration.

Elsewhere, Endomondo, a service that turns mobile phones into personal trainers, rolled out a new Facebook Timeline app back in March, letting users share runs, hikes and bike rides with their Facebook friends. Its users share more than 90,000 workouts on Facebook each day, and traffic from Facebook has increased by more than 150%. They’ve had 11 million downloads, and referrals from Facebook mobile have grown by 400%.

We’ve written about RunKeeper on a number of occasions in the past, most recently when it reeled in GymPact to let users earn (or lose) real money by sticking to their fitness goals. But back in January, it launched its very own Facebook Timeline app alongside 59 other companies.

With 11 million users, RunKeeper enables people to track distance, time, pace, calories burned and routes. Facebook says that RunKeeper has seen daily Facebook installs increase threefold since implementing Facebook Log-in and, more specifically, since implementing Open Graph, they have seen a 25% increase in referral traffic from shared RunKeeper activities.

Yao also reels off a number of best practice tips for fitness app publishers to leverage Facebook as a platform, from using Facebook Login to using the map layout for News Feed stories. You can read the full announcement here.

Clearly Facebook is looking to bolster its App ecosystem by luring more companies on board, and by revealing numbers such as this it may well do so.