Since being acquired by Google, there have been some head-scratching changes with Fitbit, some of which seem to be pushing some long-time fans away. Are you sticking with Fitbit?
There have been two things happening over the past couple of months at Fitbit. For one, there have been a lot of outages. We reported on two major back-to-back outages earlier this month that broke sync for many for hours on end, two days in a row. The outages led to data that never processed correctly, which can be frustrating when you’re in the habit of checking your trends.
Just yesterday afternoon there was another brief outage that broke sync for some, but was fixed quickly.
That alone has been frustrating to deal with, but on top of that there’s also been a lot of frustration in the community with Fitbit’s announcement that it will ditch some long-time features. Earlier this week, Fitbit revealed that it will shut down its well-known Challenges and Adventure features, as well as Open Groups, and there was no clear plan for a replacement for any of those. And over the past several months, it’s become abundantly clear that Fitbit’s “smartwatches” are losing a lot of their smarts. Fitbit confirmed that development for the Sense 2 and Versa 4, its latest smartwatches, are solely for watch faces, effectively shutting down apps for the new watches while also closing down the “Fitbit Studio” developer tool.
And as The Verge brings out, these changes have a real impact on users. The publication interviewed a few long-time Fitbit users who relayed experiences of being frustrated with ongoing outages, as well as the feature removals. One user told the publication that they had just purchased multiple Fitbit devices for their friends to participate in Challenges, only for the feature’s death to be announced days later.
In the background of all of this, Google and Fitbit have been working on their ongoing integration, including the switch from Fitbit accounts to Google sign-in which was announced last year.
It’s probably too early to say that Google is the cause of Fitbit’s recent issues, but it’s likely not a complete coincidence either. As we brought out last year, the various feature removals on the Fitbit Sense 2 and Versa 4 came just as Pixel Watch was set to debut, which made it quite clear Google was trying to move the spotlight onto its new hardware.
Related: Fitbit Sense 2 & Versa 4 review: In the shadow of the Pixel Watch
Google’s reasoning for feature removals on those smartwatches was never made official, but the company wasn’t shy about explaining why it has removed Challenges and other long-time features. It’s all about the user count, and apparently, they just weren’t used all that widely. Understandable to an extent, but as The Verge pointed out, even if that number is small, it very likely consists of Fitbit’s most loyal fans, and the ones that have stuck with the company through the years because of those very features.
What about you? Are you considering moving on from Fitbit due to these recent changes, or are you willing to stick it out a bit longer?
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