Apple Fitness+ launched a new feature, enabling group workouts and meditation sessions with up to 32 other people.
Powered by FaceTime’s SharePlay, Fitness+ workouts stream completely in sync for every user, allowing for real-time communication with other participants. Gamifying the experience, workout metrics and progress toward closing Activity rings are also displayed. When someone closes their Activity rings, everyone in the session is notified.
Expanding the service, Fitness+ is entering 15 new countries, adding guided meditations, and releasing Pilates workouts.
Zooming out: Last year, when Apple made its foray into fitness, we wrote:
“Far from a Peloton killer, Apple’s workout subscription isn’t the end game; it’s a warning shot. Armed with deep pockets and walled gardens, Big Tech wants a piece of the fitness pie. As the balance of power shifts, the battle for content, talent, distribution, and users has only just begun.”
One year on, Apple is pushing further into Peloton’s territory, putting every digital fitness brand on notice. The interesting part? While connected equipment is a focus of home fitness, Apple continues to prioritize workout formats that require little or no equipment.
Social+ Fitness. According to McKinsey research, “The most successful fitness apps offer community.” The report noted that community-focused fitness apps experience 4x growth over tracking- and training-centric apps.
Buuut… Digital workouts are still dominated by one-to-one or one-to-many models where the instructor or coach defines the experience.
Punchline: Taking notice, with the addition of group workouts, Fitness+ hopes to set itself apart from virtual experiences that fail to capture the essence of exercising in person.