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Zuckerberg testifies fitness app not key to development of metaverse

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg told a federal court Tuesday that he does not consider fitness apps to be key to his plan to build out the metaverse.

Asked by his lawyers during a court hearing if the prospect of Meta not having its own VR fitness app kept him up a night, Zuckerberg said no.

“Fitness was probably the 4th or 5th use case that I thought would be important,” he said about the building of the metaverse. Categories such as gaming, social communication and productivity would rank higher, he said, adding that Meta most likely would prioritize building out the social apps.

“We are going to try to build the core social experiences,” Zuckerberg said. “That’s our DNA.”

The FTC sued in July to block Meta from buying Within, which created the popular VR workout game “Supernatural.” The FTC argued that Meta probably would have created its own VR fitness app if it hadn’t made the acquisition. Buying Within subsequently meant that consumers were deprived of that competition and choice, the agency said.

Zuckerberg, who was called by the FTC as a witness, defended Meta’s reliance on acquisitions to build out virtual and augmented reality services. He said that under current economic conditions, Meta would be unlikely to take on developing a fitness app of its own.

When Meta was exploring expanding into the VR fitness market in 2021, the company was trying to figure out how to invest higher-than-expected revenue. Now that Meta is experiencing an economic downturn, the company is cutting back on expenses and “not spinning up new projects.” The company recently laid off approximately 13,000 people.

FTC case shows just how badly Mark Zuckerberg wanted a VR fitness app

Zuckerberg added that he was still excited about the potential for Within and “Supernatural.” He testified that Meta’s funding can “give them a multiyear runway” to keep on building their app.

Meta executives envision that in the future, people will want to work, play and spend time with their loved ones in the metaverse, experiences powered by virtual and augmented…


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