Google might already consider its acquisition of Fitbit a done deal but there are still some loose ends that need to be addressed. In the meantime, however, the two seem to be proceeding as normal, at least behind the scenes. While Fitbit will most likely continue to operate as it is now, there might be some changes afoot in the way it does business. That may include a cheaper subscription tier that may also be Google’s way to monetize the data the fitness tracker giant will be able to gather.
You don’t have to pay a single cent just to use Fitbit, of course, but the company’s Premium subscription naturally offers a lot more perks for fitness-minded users. Those include metrics and analytics, guides and tips, and access to historical data. The latter might be key to how Google will be able to profit from its controversial acquisition.
According to a survey sent to users, Fitbit might be introducing a new subscription tier lower than Premium’s $9.99 per month fee. What this tier will offer above the free tier, among other things, is access to historical data for metrics beyond a month or so. At the moment, the free tier only saves your data for up to 30 days.
Android Central suggests that this will be how Google will make money out of Fitbit users’ data. As part of Google’s compromises to get regulatory approval for the acquisition, Google agreed not to use Fitbit data for targeted ads, something that people consider to be a privacy violation. As a data company, that is pretty much a loss for Google so a subscription tier seems to be the next best strategy.
That doesn’t mean Google won’t use that data for other purposes, though, just not for targeted ads. It’s still unsure whether this new subscription will even push through but users might want to still brace for the inevitable change of hands behind the scenes.