These days, it’s no longer surprising how a reality mobile game becomes an overnight phenomenon. Angry Birds, the now-defunct Flappy Bird are some of the most popular ones, to name a few.
After its global release this month, Pokémon GO is making tsunami waves as a free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game.
Developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices, Pokémon GO utilizes GPS and cameras of compatible devices and allows players “to capture, battle and train virtual creatures called Pokémon, who appear on device screens as though in the real world.”
According to data released by Similarweb, “over 60 percent who have downloaded the app in the US are using it daily, meaning 3 percent of the entire US Android population are users of the app,” meaning that Pokémon GO daily active users could outnumber Twitter users easily in just a matter of days.
“As of July 8th, the app was being used for an average of 43 minutes, 23 seconds a day — higher than WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and Messenger,” Similarweb further states.
For users outside of the U.S., who have been downloading the app using an apk, apkmirror.com notes that there has been a dramatic influx to its traffic — “increasing from just over 600,000 visits on July 5th to over 4 million visits on July 6th,” says SimilarWeb.
The data was obtained from Organic Search Traffic over a 28-day period (from June 10-July 17), where 19.6 percent of desktop search traffic came from searching the term “pokemon go apk,” and 30.5 percent of all desktop search traffic during this period had “pokemon” in them.
David Ingles of Bloomberg tweeted that the surge in Pokémon GO users has upped Nintendo’s stock by 20 percent.
As of Similarweb’s latest blog post, traffic to apkmirror.com showed that on July 6 and July 11 “the app eclipsed 4 million daily visitors.”
As of July 11 the app has been installed by 10.8 percent of Android users in the US, 15.1 percent of Android users in Australia and 16 percent of Android users in New Zealand. And they are not simply being installed, they are being actively used on a daily basis.
According to Mike Templeman of Forbes.com, “there are already anecdotal reports of local businesses seeing booms in their business due to the foot traffic that the game is causing.”
Templeman gives some tips for businesses on how to “cash in on this craze.”
First, he recommends to place “lure modules” on Pokéstops.” A Pokéstop is a fixed location where you can get bonuses from and are often “important or unique features of a town” like statues and landmarks.
“When deployed, any Pokéstop under the influence can be seen on the map with a shower of pink petals around the stop. This can be seen by all players, as Pokemon attracted to the location can be found by any player at that location — making it a great item to use with friends. A new Pokémon will show up approximately every 3 minutes,” says IGN.com.
Templeman explains the advantages of Pokéstops, even further: “they refresh very regularly (about every 5 minutes) so once someone visits one, they don’t have to wait long for it to provide them another benefit. This means that restaurants and stores can keep customers there longer if they’re lucky to have a Pokéstop, nearby.”
The game is free to download. You can find out if you have a Pokéstop nearby by looking at the map. If you find a blue icon spinning near your business, then it means you have a Pokéstop close to you. Use a lure to your advantage to generate more customers to your business.
Templeman also recommends to host a Pokemon hunting party and to promote the event in social media, and to offer prizes for Pokémon players who come to your business “to show off their Pokémon.”
“Set up sidewalk features — Another great story is all of the friendly activities that surround the game. Companies have been providing players with pit stops to get free water, a place to sit, or shade to get out of the sun. Don’t worry about selling the players right away. Instead, support them and build a relationship with them out of kindness,” Templeman further advises.
Another surefire strategy is to engage with people on social posts concerning the game. “Players love sharing inside jokes and non-players love poking fun at those taking part…listen to what’s popular, read up on some of the trends and use that information to craft funny and timely social posts that are sure to get a ton of shares and engagement,” says Templeman.
Since playing Pokémon Go requires a lot of battery power, Templeman recommends to set up free charging power strips and wi-fi in your business and to designate it as “a free wi-fi and power station for Pokémon hunting.”
Lastly, Templeman suggests that local businesses have the game “up and running at all times, where an employee can monitor the game.”
“The digital Pokémon roam the world and pop up in random places. So when one shows up in your business, hop on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or however you want to get the word out, and tell your followers that you have a Pikachu tearing up the place. If you’re lucky enough to have a rare Pokémon visit your establishment, you’re sure to see an influx of players showing up to capture the critter,” says Templeman.