Fitbit Shuts Down Some Popular Social Features

Challenges and Adventures, as well as Open Groups, have gotten the ax.

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Fitbit app on iPhone resting atop stones.

Fitbit Adventures allowed your steps to be mapped onto Yosemite trails.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Monday was the last day Fitbit owners could use a trio of the fitness-tracker's more popular social features. The wearable maker shut down fitness gamification features Fitbit Challenges and Adventures, as well as its Open Group social feature.

When Fitbit announced the planned sunsetting of the legacy features in February, the Google-owned company said the features had "limited use" and were being removed in an effort to enhance and streamline the app.

The Adventures mode was an incentivized, gamified single-user challenge added in 2016 in which daily steps were layered onto real-life trail maps from Yosemite National Park, allowing users to track their virtual progress as they walked. The Challenges feature allowed users to share their step counts to motivate greater activity among friends.

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The removal of the features means that earned trophies have also been deleted.

While Open Groups -- a feature that allowed anyone to request to join a group -- is no longer available, Fitbit said users can still create closed groups or connect with other users on its Health & Wellness forums.

Google's $2.1 billion deal for Fitbit was announced in late 2019 and initially faced scrutiny from European Union officials over privacy concerns relating to the health data Fitbit collects and how Google could use it. The acquisition was completed in 2021 after Google promised not to use health data for targeted ads.