From January 1, 2023, new Fitbit gadgets will require a Google account – the presence of the second will become a prerequisite for activating the first; At the same time, existing Fitbit profiles will only be supported until 2025, after which a Google account will be required to use Fitbit’s fitness devices and smartwatches. This information appeared after updating the special Fitbit by Google help site.
Fitbit promises full transparency – the exact date of deactivation of accounts is promised to be announced through notifications in the application, email and help articles. The ability to transfer data from a Fitbit account to a Google account should appear at the beginning of the year. That is, Fitbit users will be approximately two years to move. Also, the developers promise the possibility of making changes when transferring personal data. After connecting a Fitbit device to a Google account, users will be able to manage their data both through the brand’s proprietary application and directly through Google settings.
In fact, it’s a fairly expected move – Google acquired Fitbit in 2021 for $2.1 billion, and has since set a course to tightly integrate its services with Fitbit devices. In addition, apparently, there are no longer any users who do not have a Google account. But there is an important nuance – after a protracted review of the agreement by antitrust regulators, Google had to make concessions and take on a number of additional obligations, in particular, not using data for targeted advertising and maintaining technical boundaries between its business and Fitbit. Surely Google’s lawyers know better, however, given the “disposition” of the European Commission to the American giant, a new antitrust investigation in the future cannot be ruled out.
All indications are that Google bought Fitbit primarily to stimulate its own line of wearable gadgets – now the company is preparing to enter the smartwatch market with the Pixel Watch model, which will be announced along with the Pixel 7 smartphones at the presentation on October 6th. Linking Fitbit devices to a Google account is a Meta/Oculus example — in 2020, parent company Facebook also introduced mandatory social media authorization, and last month, Quest VR headset users were allowed to unlink their devices from their Facebook account.