Strava, the maker of a popular cycling and running app that is one of the few holdouts in an era of health and fitness acquisitions, has just added a nifty safety feature to its app.
Called Beacon, the features lets Strava users share a live workout with up to three contacts, so those people can monitor you while you're out running or cycling. Tapping on the Beacon feature before you start your workout generates a unique URL that can be shared, and the person or people on the receiving end won't need to be Strava users to see where you are. Beacon will also show if your workout has paused for a long period of time, if you're low on battery life, or if you've wandered out of cell range.
Beacon is only available to Strava Premium users, part of a larger attempt to monetize the app
There is a catch: Beacon is only available to Strava premium subscribers, who pay $6 a month or $60 a year for things like advanced training programs.
The Beacon feature is clearly part of Strava's larger efforts to monetize its app, which is free to download and, for the most part, free to use. It makes the most money off of these premium subscriptions, and also generates some revenue from a city-mapping program called Strava Metro. However, the company just shuttered its online retail store because it couldn't compete with large-scale retailers and online gear stores.