The most viral mobile game of all time has announced some exciting news that may be very beneficial to local businesses.

TechCrunch reports, Niantic CEO John Hanke said that “sponsored locations” would provide a new revenue stream, in addition to in-app purchases of power-ups and virtual items.

Translated, this means retailers and businesses will be allowed a paid opportunity to be prominently featured in the Pokémon Go virtual map. This will hopefully drive traffic to their places of business.

Pokémon Go’s daily active users surpassed Twitter yesterday and it is on track to fly by Snapchat daily users. Additionally, users spend more time in the app, 11 to 18 minutes longer, than they do on Facebook, Twitter or even Snapchat.

A few U.S. retailers have already been featured in the app and they have seen real customers come in to their stores as a result of the Pokémon Go app.

“The amount of people has been astonishing,” Tom Lattanzio, the owner of L’Inizio Pizza Bar in Long Island City, Queens, told to The New York Post and reported in TechCrunch. The Financial Times reported that the pizza restaurant saw business increase 75 percent after buying a $10 in-game power-up that lured Pokémon to its location.

Many businesses and organizations are already trying to attract more visitors by featuring Pokéstops on their own Social sites. The Art Institute of Chicago tweeted on July 11 that they had 14 Pokéstops around their facility and told their followers to “Catch them if you can.”



In addition to the current in-app purchases Pokémon Go has, like power-ups or virtual items, they hope to add to the revenue stream with this new advertising feature.

Businesses will be charged on a “cost per visit” basic, which is similar to “cost per click.” Niantic declined to provide more details about the potential new feature.

This may provide a very important advertising tool for many local businesses and organizations in the near future, as long as this game remains as popular as it is.