24 April 2014

TechCrunch: “Facebook Acquires Fitness and Activity Tracking App Moves”

Today, we're delighted to announce that Facebook has acquired our company and the Moves app. Since we launched Moves, we’ve been focused on running a simple and clean activity diary that millions of people have enjoyed using. Moves Press Releases

I am everything but delighted to hear this! I started using Moves on the iPhone a couple of months ago to track my walks and to geo-tag my travel photos with the GPS data from the app. The results were not perfect, because the app had some issues keeping GPS tracking on; whenever I opened another app using location, Moves turns off tracking and so it would loose dozens of minutes of walking. It was in any case easier than remembering all the places I visited at which hour.

But no matter how convenient this setup was for me, I’m not going to keep feeding this data to , regardless of their reassurances that they will remain independent. The information is just too sensitive to have it ‘accidentally leak’ from their servers at some point. So I’m going to delete my account and the app from my phone and search for another app that can record GPS tracks. I have already exported all my remaining data and I recommend using Moves Export for this. Moves has its own data export page, but it delivers a single huge archive with data in several formats and split by activity type (like walking, running, etc.), an odd choice making it difficult to see what you did in a single day. With Moves Export you can get tracks by day and week, which are much easier to import elsewhere.

In any case, I think the chances Moves has of surviving as a standalone app are slim. With an estimated four million users it’s very far from high-profile acquisitions like Instagram and WhatsApp. And since Facebook recently launched a location-based service for meeting nearby friends, I fully expect the former Moves developers to focus on integrating their technology into Facebook’s app and the existing Moves to linger without updates for a while before being quietly shut down.

Update: Well, that certainly didn’t take long:

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