Fitocracy is an online game and social network that to uses gamification to help users improve their fitness. Nir Eyal explains the behavioral premise of Fitocracy in the following passage from Hooked.

"The goal of the app is similar to its competitors – to help people establish better diet and exercise routines. However, the app leverages familiar “wanna” behaviors instead of “haftas” to keep people on track.

At first, the Fitocracy experience is similar to other health apps, encouraging new members to track their food consumption and exercise. But where Fitocracy differentiates itself is in its recognition that most users will quickly fall off the wagon, just as I had with MyFitnessPal, unless the app taps into an existing behavior.

Before my reactance alarm went off, I started receiving kudos from other members of the site after entering-in my very first run. Curious to know who was sending the virtual encouragement, I logged-in. There, I immediately saw a question from “mrosplock5,” a woman looking for advice on what to do about knee pain from running. Having experienced similar trouble several years back, I left a quick reply. “Running barefoot (or with minimalist shoes) eliminated my knee pains. Strange but true!”

I haven’t used Fitocracy for long, but it’s easy to see how someone could get hooked. Fitocracy is first and foremost an online community. The app roped me in by closely mimicking real-world gym jabber among friends. The ritual of connecting with like-minded people existed long before Fitocracy and the company leverages this behavior by making sharing words of encouragement, exchanging advice, and receiving praise, easier and more rewarding. In fact, a recent study in the Netherlands found social factors were the most important reasons people used the service and recommended it to others.

Social acceptance is something we all crave and Fitocracy leverages the universal need for connection as an on-ramp to fitness, making new tools and features available to users as they develop new habits. The choice for the Fitocracy user is therefore between the old way of doing an existing behavior and the company’s tailored solution."

Fitocracy explained

 Nir Eyal writes about Fitocracy in  Hooked

Nir Eyal writes about Fitocracy in Hooked

 Key Stats

  • Fitocracy has a time-on-site that rivals Facebook and is higher than Twitter, and Tumblr. Fitocracy motivates users and helps them succeed at fitness and level up in real life.
  • The rebranding and launch of the first version of the iOS app changed an 80% Male/20% Female split during the beta to a 45% Male/55% Female in the space of a few months.
  • The user base grew (organically) from 100,000 to 2 Million in around 2 years.
  • Fitocracy for iOS (Fig 1) accounted for around 80% of Fitocracy's growth.


When most people embark on a diet, they only count calories, not macros. This often leaves people prone to many of the typical side effects of dieting – feeling hungry, lacking energy, and being irritable. Targeting macronutrients allows them to counteract these side effects. With the right macros, you can remain full all day, stay energetic, and build lean muscle to give you that 'toned' look.

We developed a second app, Fitocracy Macros (Fig 2) as a simple macro and calorie counter for people who are tracking their macronutrients to help them reach their fitness goals, whether that's losing weight, or building lean muscle.

 

Customer Reviews

"This app is magical, revolutionary, and most importantly, life changing. Get it."

"Convinced that the new Fitocracy app has set a new high bar for iOS visual design. There's nothing else like it, just perfect."

“This new way of dieting was life changing. I lost 10 lbs, all while remaining incredibly full – sometimes too full. My energy was sky high and I will never go back to pure calorie counting again.”

"This app is great to monitor what you eat. It's not just counting calories, which I love. It IS only effective though if you actually DO log your protein, carbs, and fat intake. If you do so, it is so great to see how many calories you eat throughout the day. It also makes it a little fun since you want to reach the calorie goal the app gives you by the end of your day. I'm the biggest fast food and junk food junkie and this app has turned me into a totally different person when it comes to my fitness and health goals! (well along with my own ambition.) keep up the good work!"

Accolades

  • Best in class by Nir Eval in Hooked
  • Time Inc's Ten Startups to Watch
  • Time Magazine's Best Websites 
  • An App of the Year by Men's Journal
  • Mashable's Top Innovation in Health & Fitness Winner
  • Top Rated for app quality by the QI
  • Featured by Apple App Store, CNN, TechCrunch, Lifehacker, Kotaku, The NY Observer, NYT, and more.

Fig 1

Fig 2. Code for both iOS apps was written by Julius Parishy.