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New tools for dieting with friends

We've had the ability to make "Friends" on the site for a while now, but admittedly, there hasn't been much behind it.  Friends could comment on each other's profile, and that's about it.  But we've always believed that if we could provide a really compelling experience for friends dieting together, the site would be much more effective at helping you lose weight. Having the support of your friends and family can make all the difference when you are doing something as difficult as making a permanent lifestyle change.

So last night, we launched a new set of features that we hope will make it easier for friends and family to easily track each other's progress and support and motivate one another.  Your My Home page now includes a News Feed which shows activity from your MyFitnessPal friends.  If you become Friends with someone on MyFitnessPal, your News Feed will show:

  • when they've lost weight so you can congratulate them!
  • blog posts and message board topics they've posted so you can share your thoughts
  • if they haven't logged onto the site in a while so you can motivate them to stay on track
  • any status updates they want to share
  • when they've "Completed their day"

PRIVACY

As we were building the new features, one of our main concerns was privacy.  So all of your activity is visible ONLY by your MyFitnessPal friends.  If you are not friends with someone on the site, they will not be able to see your recent activity on your profile, and your updates will not appear in their news feed.  The only small exception is that, if a friend comments on someone's status, you'll be able to see that one status item only, even if you are not friends with them.  But the rest of their activity will remain private.

The idea is that your activity will only be shared with the people that you trust and want to support you.   If you don't want someone to see your activity, just remove them from your friends list, or don't add them in the first place - it's that easy.

FOCUSED ON POSITIVE NEWS

We also wanted to make sure that the main focus of the News Feed was on sharing successes, not failures.  So, for example, if you Complete Your Day and you are under your net calorie goal, we'll share that in your activity feed.  But if you are over, nothing will appear at all.  Activity updates will also be displayed if you lose weight - but if you gain weight, nothing will be shared, even with your friends.  We didn't want people to worry about becoming friends with someone on the site and feeling "ashamed" if something negative got shared in their feed.  Becoming friends with someone on the site should only be a positive experience.

We did make one exception to that rule: if you haven't logged onto the site for a while, we'll send an update out to your friends letting them know that you might need encouragement.  Study after study has shown that continuing to keep a food diary is extremely effective at losing weight, and we strongly believe that if you track your meals and exercise on MyFitnessPal for long enough, you'll eventually reach your goals.  So we felt it was important enough to help people stay on track that we should let their friends know when they might have fallen off the wagon.

MORE TO COME

We'll be watching to see how people are using the News Feed and, going forward, we'll definitely be fine-tuning it to make sure the right amount, and the right type of information is flowing through it. 

So please, let us know what you think!  As always, we love to hear your feedback.

Thanks, and hope you are all enjoying the site.

Mike & Al

 

iPhone App update available - water tracking and more

An update to our iPhone app is now available which includes the following improvements:

  • You can now track water consumption in the app
  • Fixed issue where app would crash for non-U.S. users when visiting the Progress section or Edit Profile
  • Added decimal point to numeric keypad so you can enter weights like 200.2 pounds, and nutritional values like 1.5g fat
  • Other minor usability improvements

If you've already installed the app, please make sure to download the update if you'd like to take advantage of these improvements.

Our next major release is focused on allowing offline usage, so stay tuned!

And if you like the app, please rate us on iTunes!  Good ratings really help, so thanks in advance for your support!

Hope you are all enjoying the site (and the app).

Mike & Al

MyFitnessPal iPhone App now available

Great news!  Apple approved our app, and the MyFitnessPal iPhone app is now available through iTunes!  Using the app, you can log from your iPhone or iTouch at any time, from anywhere with an internet connection.  Now you iPhone/iTouch users have no excuse not to be logging your meals!

Click here to get MyFitnessPal from the App Store

This initial version requires internet access, but we are working on a version that will work both online and offline.  We also will be adding water tracking in a future version.

As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, just let us know.

And please rate the app if you like it!  

Hope you are all enjoying the site.

Mike & Al

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