If you’ve been out in your neighborhood or local parks this past weekend, you may have noticed a few people walking around with their eyes glued to their phone. (More so than normal, that is.) If you see these people light up with excitement, pointing at an empty space on the sidewalk, then you can assume they’re just about to catch a Pokémon.

By now you’ve probably heard of Pokémon Go, a reimagined version of the classic 1990s game that integrates GPS technology, your phone’s camera, and augmented reality to produce an App Store phenomenon that is possibly unprecedented. Just how big of a deal is it?

  • Pokémon Go leapt up to the #1 spot in the App Store within 5 hours of its release. (It is currently the top free app on the Play Store and App Store.)
  • Pokémon Go has more daily active users (DAUs) than Tinder.
  • The game will have more DAUs than Twitter on Android any day now.

Check out this chart from Forbes:


Is Pokémon Go a New Direction for Gaming?
Quite possibly. One of the great things about this app is that it gets gamers off the couch and out into the world–even if that just means walking to the edge of the yard or the other side of the office building.

The AR technology also seems to indicate a major shift in mobile gaming. While practically every user is going to be familiar with AR from Snapchat and other apps, this is one of the first major gaming apps to put AR front-and-center.

Pokémon Go for Marketing
There’s also an angle for brands here. Real-world businesses can serve as Pokémon Gyms and PokéStops. While it’s not possible (yet) to petition to become a Pokémon Gym, it’s highly likely that Nintendo will integrate this capability into its future revenue model. (Snapchat made a similar move a few months ago when it opened up the sale of geofilters to the public.)

Becoming a Pokémon Go destination would include the obvious benefit of drawing users into your store, at which point you could give special offers to players. Some local businesses are already getting in on the action where Pokémon traffic is high!

Do You Play Pokémon Go?
What do you like about the app… or what would you change? Do you see any local marketing potential within it?