Hey Pacers! Pacer’s monthly challenges are a great way to motivate yourself to get more steps. We created our Pacer challenges as casual, fun competitions for people to see how active they can get but we realize that there is serious competition for the top places.
Our tiebreaker system was due for an update. We have added GPS tracked activity as a tiebreaker in the Steps and Distance challenges. We’ve also introduced a cap on the number of challenge posts each Pacer user can make every day to encourage higher value, more interesting posts.
These changes, in addition to some other minor improvements, will make our challenges fairer, close loopholes, and encourage more interesting content in the challenge boards. We think challenges will be more fun too. Read on for more information.
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Tiebreaker 1: GPS Tracked Data
We’ve introduced a brand new tiebreaker that will be considered first to determine challenge ranking: GPS tracked activity. This only counts towards the Steps and Distance challenge. (5k Race and Routes already uses GPS, Group challenges are unchanged for now). If users are still tied after GPS activity is taken into account, Pacer will consider the 2nd tiebreaker – Likes (see below).
When multiple users hit the same numbers for the steps challenge, users with the most GPS tracked steps will be ranked higher.
Maximum Steps: 10,000 steps per day
Since 10,000 steps is the highest step goal for the challenge, the tiebreaker considers GPS tracked steps up to 10,000 per day. Steps over that number don’t count towards the tiebreaker.
Example: User A and User B both get 10,000 steps on the first day of the competition. User A has 5,000 steps tracked through GPS, while user B did not use GPS at all. User A would rank higher than User B on the leaderboard.
When multiple users hit the same numbers for the steps challenge, users with the most GPS tracked distance will be ranked higher.
Maximum Distance: 25km/day (~15.5 miles/day)
This tiebreaker considers up to 25km or around 15.5 miles per day. Distance over that number does not count towards the tiebreaker.
Example: User A and User B both walk 20km on the first day of the competition. User A has 10km tracked through GPS, while user B did not use GPS at all. User A would rank higher than User B on the leaderboard.
Tiebreaker 2: Likes on Challenge Posts
When users have the same number of steps or same distance and the same amount of GPS tracked activity, Pacer will consider likes on challenge posts. This works the same way as the current tiebreaker system does – though we’re implementing a limit on the number of challenge posts each user can make per day.
Example: User A and User B both get 10,000 steps in day 1 of the competition, and all 10,000 are tracked via GPS. User A gets 10 likes on her challenge ranking or challenge posts, but User B does not make any posts and does not get any likes. User A would rank higher on the leaderboard.
New: Challenge Post Limits
We created challenge posts so that users can post their results and motivate themselves to walk more through likes and comments. To improve the overall quality of challenge posts and reduce spam or low-value posts, we’ve set a limit of 5 challenge posts per day for each user.
Challenge Post Limit: 5 posts per day (per user)
5 posts per day allows each Pacer user to post multiple updates on their progress, or post a few times if they’re not happy with a previous post. We hope that this leads to better quality posts in general so that the challenge feed is a more interesting place to post and read posts from others.
To get more likes, users will need to create quality posts with interesting photos that make Pacers want to click and like, rather than creating a high volume of posts with just a like or two.
To compete in challenges (as well as to use the Pacer Feed or use groups), users will need to verify their email address. This step increases authenticity in our Pacer Feed, and will also help to prevent users from exploiting the Likes tiebreaker.
Important Note: Manually Added Steps DO NOT Count
Just as an important reminder – manually added steps do not count towards our challenges or groups. Only steps tracked by a device count towards challenges. This means that if you add steps manually, the steps will show up in your individual Pacer stats but not in your challenge leaderboard. This helps prevent an obvious vector for potential cheating in challenges.
We have recently identified and closed an exploit that seems to have allowed some users to get around this. Please help us to ensure a fair and fun competition.
These changes should make our challenges fairer and encourage higher quality posts in the challenge feed. Pacer may implement additional changes or improvements to the challenge tiebreakers or challenge system in the future. If you have any suggestions or comments on the new changes, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a message through the in-app feedback system (Me->Settings->Feedback). Thanks for using Pacer!
If you haven’t downloaded the Pacer app yet, download Pacer for free (on mobile)! You can also check out our website (mobile or desktop) or follow our blog for more great walking and healthy lifestyle tips.