First launched in 2016, Strava’s Beacon feature shares your live location with a maximum of three nominated family members or friends and lets them see where you are until you finish your activity.
Previously it was only available to Strava Premium members, but Strava has announced that as of today it will be available for all Strava users.
But there is a catch. You have to be recording activities via its mobile app and you’ll still have to be a subscriber if you want to use Beacon via a connected device, such as a Garmin bike computer or smartwatch.
Strava says that the reason it is still a subscriber-only feature on cycling computers and other smart devices is due to the added complexity of supporting and integrating Beacon with these devices.
However, Strava also said the reason Beacon was previously only available to subscribers across all devices was the added costs of integration and sending SMS notifications to your nominated loved ones. Strava is now presumably absorbing the cost of these integrations and text messages or has worked around them.
Strava says that the app is a place for athletes to feel safe, and Beacon forms the backbone of its commitment to safety.
Strava CEO, Michael Horvath, says: “Strava is a place for anyone who sweats and we want to help every athlete feel safe doing their sport. To better support athletes’ safety and peace of mind, we’ve decided to make our live-location sharing feature Beacon accessible to everyone in our community, whether they subscribe to Strava or not. Starting today, any athlete in the world can use Beacon for free when they record an activity with our mobile app.”
Releasing Beacon to a greater number of users follows the brand’s recent attempts to bring more features to non-subscribers, such as its updated progress charts and local legend challenges, having previously taken some features away.
Do you use the Beacon feature or will you be using it now it’s available for non-subscribers? Let us know in the comments.