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What’s Going on Between and Strava?

July 12, 2019


What’s Going on Between and Strava?

There’s lots of ongoing drama between and Strava. Here, we’ll quickly explain what’s happening so you can get a better idea if you should take sides.

Updated August 4, 2019

The Brief Background

On July 11, 2019, Strava sent an email to users of the popular 3D mapping and video app, notifying them that “because of Relive’s recent updates, unfortunately, we have decided to end [our] integration.”

Why? They went on to explain:

“The current version of Relive violates several of the terms that we ask of API partners. These terms are in place to safeguard your personal information, to ensure a level playing field for all our partners, and to protect what makes Strava unique. We’ve worked hard with Relive to try to fix this, but they have ultimately chosen not to make the changes needed to honor their agreement. So as of today, Strava will no longer send your activities to Relive for playback.”

A screenshot from Strava’s help documents explaining their rationale for removing integration. Credit: Strava, Inc.

That same day, Relive released their own statement, advising members that “Strava decided to no longer work with us and shut down our access to your activities. This means you can no longer create Relive videos based on your Strava activities.”

They go on to explain they were just as surprised by the decision as we are, since other than “new ultimatums and threats about our existing features they’ve applauded for years,” they didn’t receive any responses from Strava to their efforts at amicably resolving the dispute.

Relive’s post notifying members that Strava is no longer integrated. Credit: Relive B.V.

What’s going on?

Why Strava Pulled Relive’s Integration

According to D.C. Rainmaker, Strava posits that Relive broke their API terms by displaying (or combining) data collected by Strava with data from unrelated third parties.

Specifically, Strava argues that Relive is doing this in two different ways: they offer the ability to have a social feed, and they also support data uploads from third-party devices like Garmin, Polar, Suunto, and so forth.

In other words, it appears that Strava 1) doesn’t want Relive users to connect with one another and view each other’s data, and 2) wants to be the sole provider of Relive’s mapping data.

Workaround: Is There a Way to Link Relive & Strava?

The good news? You can still utilize your Strava data to create Relive videos.

The bad news? The process is now much less convenient, although certainly not insurmountable:

  1. Export GPX or TCX files from Strava to your computer
  2. Upload them to your account via Relive’s website (you can upload more than one at the same time)
  3. Reload your Relive app
  4. The event should appear in your timeline

Is Strava’s Decision Justified?

I’m not a legal authority, but as someone who uses both of these apps regularly (and who’s also a paying member for each), I feel like I have some skin in the game now that the companies are quarreling.

And as I see it, the problem is that according to their App Directory, thousands of apps and websites currently use data gathered by Strava—many of which also offer third-party device functionality and/or social feeds.

D.C. Rainmaker even reports that industry giant Trailforks implements the same information in similar ways, yet there doesn’t currently seem to be a dispute between them and Strava. So, it appears that Strava is singling Relive out in this instance.

As he phrases it, “Ultimately, what’s changed is that we sat down and decided that instead of creating new features for you as Strava users, we’d spend that time on removing functionality from the greater Strava ecosystem.”

At this point, I’d say I have to agree. Be sure to bookmark this page, though, and I’ll update it as soon as new details emerge.

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below and be part of the conversation!

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Derek has more than two decades of experience as a cyclist, and is the founder of TreadBikely. He currently travels full-time with his family via RV, enjoying the country's best biking destinations. A secular Buddhist, Derek frequently explores the intersection of cycling, mindfulness, and compassion in his writing. #rolloutblissout
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