Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

RunKeeper Hopes to Be Your App for That New Year's Resolution

FitnessKeeper, the mobile fitness app maker for the iPhone and Android, has found a variety of ways to get its users to pay to track their runs, bike rides and other activities using GPS. It offers a RunKeeper Pro app for $9.99, with premium features such as audio cues and interval training; an Elite subscription service for $19.99 per year that allows users to live-broadcast their activities and get reports on their progress; and specific training programs (usually $9.99 each for non-members).

Confused by all those options? There’s also a basic RunKeeper app that has enough tracking and reporting features for many users and has always been free. I wrote recently about its social features.

Apple recently said RunKeeper Pro was one of its top-grossing apps of 2010. FitnessKeeper, a small Boston-based start-up that just raised $1.1 million in funding, wouldn’t disclose revenue or download numbers, but said it has been cash-flow positive every month since it was founded two-and-a-half years ago.

The company announced this week it would take down one part of its pay barrier from now through the end of January, giving away RunKeeper Pro for free during New Year’s resolution season.

Launched yesterday on iPhone, that promotion has already been highly successful, with 171,000 RunKeeper Pro downloads yesterday on the iPhone, more than 10 times as many as it gets in a normal day. The app is currently quickly climbing the Apple App Store charts, now at No. 5 in the free app category (it was No. 12 this morning). The promotion is also launching on Android this afternoon.

And as of this writing, it’s only New Year’s resolution time in about half the world.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work