Starting today, Strava users will be able to privately message other users within the app. At first, you’ll be able to send both direct messages, as well as group messages.
The feature is intended to be used as a way to motivate your friends on the platform or coordinate group activities. I was able to get a sneak peek at the feature ahead of time, and it’s similar to how DMs work on any other social media, which makes sense because Strava is both an exercise recording app and fitness social media platform. I was able to DM a fellow reviewer friend of mine, and we were able to share with each other custom routes that we’ve made. Pressing and holding a message will let you add a message react with the typical thumbs up, heart, laugh, sad, and fire emojis — along with the more Strava-specific laurel wreath. Typing the /giphy command will allow you to send GIFs the same as you would in Slack.
It’ll be interesting to see how Strava users take to messaging. The danger of adding messaging to any platform is harassment and weirdos sliding into your DMs. Instagram, TikTok, and other social media can often end up as pseudo dating sites and it’s not unrealistic to imagine that athletes with similar interests might turn to Strava in a similar way. Thankfully, Strava has some privacy features in place.
You can limit messages to followers, mutuals, or “no one.” The last option means that no one will be able to message you first, but you’ll be able to start conversations with other people. These settings will also impact who is allowed to invite you into group chats. It’s automatically set based on your profile visibility, but you can tweak your individual messaging preferences in the settings.
For now, that’s all there is to Strava messaging. However, in early 2024, Strava says it’ll add some more features like uploading photos, the ability to share posts and events from Strava Clubs, as well as messaging on a specific topic within Clubs.