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Placing a strong bet on India's creator and developer community, Meta Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Wednesday that as the social network begins initial steps to create augmented reality (AR)- driven Metaverse experiences for billions, the country and its vast pool of talent is going to be a huge part of that journey.

Speaking at the company's 'Fuel for India' event, Zuckerberg said that he is really excited about the role that India will play in building the future of Metaverse, which is going to be the successor to the mobile internet.

"That is because India's talent pool -- the engineers, developers and creators and the whole vibrant startup ecosystem -- is playing a huge role in shaping the future. India is on track to have the largest app developer base in the world by 2024. It already has one of the largest 'Spark AR' developer communities," Zuckerberg told Vishal Shah, VP, Metaverse during a conversation.

He said that the online gaming sector in India has seen a lot of growth over the past few years and "our investment in gaming in the country keeps growing as we look to how it's going to take shape in the Metaverse".

"We're investing in other growing areas like education and social commerce like in Unacademy and Meesho, which are important use cases as we think about the future that we're building," Zuckerberg said.

Saluting the entrepreneurial spirit of India, the Meta CEO said that this is already fuelling a lot of the internet economy in India.

"When we're thinking about what the next generation is going to look like in terms of, you know, where all these creators and developers are going to come from, who are going to really build the foundation of the Metaverse, I think it's just obvious that India is going to be a huge part of that," he stressed.

Zuckerberg said that India is the biggest country in the world that uses Facebook and WhatsApp today.

"Instagram is also growing incredibly quickly in the country," he added.

India has more than 400 million WhatsApp users.

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