Ex-Twitter CEO reveals plans for fitness software platform
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Ex-Twitter CEO reveals plans for fitness software platform

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Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has announced that he is working on a new fitness software platform which will seek to integrate existing apps and workouts with a strong “community aspect.”

Costolo, who was CEO of the technology giant from 2010 to 2015, announced in a recent tweet that he is working with Fitify chief executive Bryan Oki on “a software platform that reimagines the path to personal fitness.”

The post said: “This platform will go beyond measurement to motivate and drive improvement and make the road to personal transformation fun and social. For wellness professionals, from fitness coaches to physical therapists and nutritionists and more, our platform will be the easiest and most flexible way to extend expertise and guidance by orders of magnitude.”

The news sparked a frenzy of speculation around the implications of one of the world’s leading technology figures making a high-profile push into the fitness market. It follows Apple’s first fully-fledged tilt into the health and wellness market with the Apple Watch and Apple HealthKit platform, as well as the ongoing charge into the fitness technology sector from sportswear giant Under Armour.

Although fitness trackers and accompanying apps have had a significant impact on the health and fitness market in recent years – currently worth around US$5.1bn (€4.5bn £3.2bn), the market is expected to triple in value over the next decade – uptake of the technology has not been seamless. One criticism of the market has been that apps and trackers are too disparate, making it difficult to compare data from different activities and trackers – a situation Costolo may be seeking to remedy.

During a TV appearance earlier this week, Costolo revealed more details of his vision for the platform.

"I think, you know, the fitness industry really mythologises the path to fitness as one of self-actualisation and you see their ads reinforcing this individual iron will," he told CNBC's Squawk Alley.

"But the reality is that most of us are really successful at getting from point A to point B through social cues, social accountability, and social support, and that's what we're going to do. We're going to bring all of that together in a software platform and really address that challenge in the space."

Asked what the platform would provide which is already missing from the fitness market, Costolo added: “"There's an absolute fragmentation and no integration at all across these different kind of trackers' apps for specific kinds of workouts."

"There's specific apps for running. There's specific apps for cycling. There's different apps for mountain biking to say nothing of the increased specialisation in areas like CrossFit and Peloton and these boot camp classes that lots of folks are going to now. So we're going to bring all of that together, re-add the community aspect that we think is really missing from the fitness space and causing this bowling alone problem, which is no fun at all."

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Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has announced that he is working on a new fitness software platform which will seek to integrate existing apps and workouts with a strong “community aspect.”
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