Pokémon Go has recently become a huge social and cultural phenomenon among the younger generation (78% of players are millennial out of approximately 20 million daily users). Inevitably, in our increasingly visual world in which 3 billion images are shared online every day, this means that people are sharing about it on social media with screenshots from the game, everything from Pokemon twins to pets and Pikachu to accidents. Of course, some of these shares are on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but it’s likely that even more are happening on Snapchat, especially if you consider that the ephemeral messaging behemoth currently has a similar user base of 70% millennials (out of approximately 100 million daily users). By contrast, only 41 percent of Instagram users are between the ages of 16-24, and tweens are leaving the service for Snapchat in droves.

Of course, we don’t know for sure, since Snapchat hasn’t released those numbers and there are no analytics tools that can tell us, but the company’s recent announcement that it would be launching a Pokémon Go Live Story suggests that it’s picking up on an internal trend. And given all those millennials and Gen Z players on there already….

What we do know is that social reach — the number of people who have seen a post — of visual shares among Pokemon Go users in traditional social media has been low. Using computer vision-enhanced social media technology, we found that the highest social reach Pokémon Go social shares are actually coming from brands. These include Caracol Radio (2.52 million social reach), a top radio network in Columbia that is actually portraying the game negatively, and DC Comics (1.75 million social reach) at San Diego Comic Con. While these numbers are impressive for brands, many of the other Pokémon Go social shares from ordinary people on traditional social media aren’t there. For example, the top post for the Pokémon Rhyhorn character (271k social reach; defined by number of users who have seen the post) is a screenshot a fan took of Ariana Grande going on a nighttime Pokémon hunt that she originally shared on — where else? — Snapchat. That’s pretty unimpressive considering the singer has 40.5 million Twitter followers. In our research, there were no other celebrities of this caliber using or referencing Pokémon Go with images on any traditional social media platform with the exception of former football player Warren Sapp (1.1 million social reach), which actually was impressive considering he has 1.5M Twitter followers. Other examples of low social reach on traditional social media is a Ghastly sighting in Tokyo, Japan (30.1k social reach) on the lower end to a Rattata in London, UK (106k social reach) on the higher end.

Considering that 10% of smart phone users are playing Pokemon Go for approximately an hour a day, you’d expect higher social reach from Pokemon Go shares across the board.

Despite the game’s popularity and its potential to eat into the user base of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, none of these traditional sites seem to be doing anything about it. Meanwhile, Snapchat is actively courting the Pokemon Go audience, already soliciting Pokemon Go snaps for the aforementioned live story. It may be that Snapchat realizes just how synergistic it is with Pokemon Go. After all, the Snapchat experience is increasingly gamified, while Pokemon Go has a lot of inherent social aspects. What this means for the future of social media, sharing and gaming will be interesting to watch.