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Please, don't be Facebook

Mt. Kenya

When I first discovered Strava around 2013 I was hugely impressed, the idea of competing GPS segments was new and exciting. Had a paid subscription since. My list of of followed and followers grew over 200.  But more and more it started to itch:

I do not need a 100 kudos for a daily training. Nor do I need to see the commutes, warm-ups, hikes to the grocery store from every one I follow. It is not the Strava I once liked so much anymore.

So I trimmed down my list of followers/followed from 200 to around 40. Now they all appear in 'suggestions to follow'. And all of sudden I appear in theirs! 

This is not privacy, this is Facebook. Please Strava, be Strava again and stop Facebooking.



Hi @JudaV, thanks for posting here. I wanted to let you know more about how suggested follows work and some other tools that may help, as well as explore your more general topic as well. Thanks for the opportunity to expand this conversation!

First, there are certain ways that we determine when to suggest athletes:

  • Mutual friends: If someone you follow also follows someone else, you may want to follow that person too and we suggest them to you
  • They follow you: If someone follows you on Strava and you do not follow them back, you may see them as suggested athletes to follow
  • Facebook: If permissions have been granted, you may see your Facebook connections who are also on Strava
  • Contacts: Similarly, if you allowed access to your contacts and they are on Strava, you may see their profiles; if they shared their contacts with Strava, including your info, you may see them as a suggested connection as well

Considering the order of operations you mentioned, a number of these scenarios could explain why you and your former followers are now seeing these suggestions. 

Thanks for raising the larger topic at hand, I'm looking forward to hearing more from the community on it. There are two perspectives I'd like to share, and then some notes on other features that could help out.

First, Strava's end goal is to help athletes get to their next activity. We're not looking for their constant attention or unending perusal of the feed. An ideal session could include some training assessment, route planning, and finding some motivation to get them to their next activity and start sweating. We seek to add to the athlete experience at large, not to keep it a fingertip away. If we're not meeting those expectations, we're here to listen. 

Second, we know that for many athletes, finding a community helps them to build up and keep healthy habits and lifestyles. There are many types of athletes on Strava, and people use it in diverse ways. By receiving (and sharing!) kudos and seeing how these varied people are integrating being active into their lifestyles, from the most impressive to the most mundane, many athletes do find inspiration or motivation through these social interactions with their Strava communities. And I'm sure everyone has a story, it being getting started or a rough recovery, where anything that helps keep you striving really counts–including a kudo. 

That said, I completely hear your point. The feed can get noisy, and you may not be finding the resources and inspiration that get you moving like you used to. There are some tools that can help improve these experiences, though, it would help if more athletes were aware of them and started using them. To address this issue, the community, us included, needs to spread that awareness. Here's a step on that journey:

  • Mute your activities – If kudos on a given activity won't mean much to you, it may mean less to others. Consider muting them from feeds.
    • You can use your activity visibility controls similarly by setting your default to 'only you,' and then choosing when to make them visible to followers or everyone.
  • Mute other athletes – If you're connected with an athlete who regularly uploads activities that you do not want to see, you can mute them from your feed. You will still be connected with them, so you can unmute them or visit their profile periodically to connect and share your support. This works for their challenge and club join feed entries too. 

There's still room for improvement, too, I'm sure. Here's a similar post to review, for example. What other options would athletes like to see to address concerns from this perspective? What are the areas where Strava is working, and where are we adding undesired friction? 

STRAVA | Support Team

Hi Sunny, thank you very much for your detailed answer. Yes Strava has  great muting options.

Last year I already carried out most of your suggestions, muting most of my activities and hiding a lot of activities of others. That did work for some time. But then, I muted activities that I would not mind sharing with some people and not with others. Of course that would get way too complicated.  It felt like a relieve just tot trim the number of Strava-friends to people I meet in real life within e.g. a year.  Unfollow + remove followers seemed the way to go.  I get suggested as a new friend to the people I removed, which is kind of awkward as you understand.

I think Strava would set a good example  by adding the possibility in privacy to opt-out for: "suggest my profile to others."  One could even argue this should default to 'removed followers'.

I have a paid subscription since the early years of Strava because I so much admired the concept of the app. I still do and I appreciate the upgrade in privacy-options that Strava had the last years. 

That's an interesting suggestion. I hear two co-existing possibilities: athletes who were previously connected should not be suggested to one another again, and athletes should be able to opt into being suggested to others. Thanks for sharing here–I am really curious to see how this thread develops!

STRAVA | Support Team


Hey @JudaV thanks for sharing your thoughts with the Community. However, you posted this in our Ideas board, so we have moved it to this discussion board instead. If you'd like to make a feature suggestion, feel free to revisit our Ideas board and post it there. We ask that you review our Ideas guidelines, particularly the “What makes a good idea” section, to ensure that your ideas are clear, concise, and can reach as many others as possible. Thanks once again.