There’s a phenomenon afoot, literally: People have been walking into poles, ditches, other people–and occasionally traffic–in large numbers. They’re “catching” Pokémon. And blowing up Twitter talking about it.
From the time I started writing this blog post (just fifteen minutes ago), another two million tweets about the new Pokémon GO game were sent! On average, there have been approximately 1.3 million tweets per day about the game–over 11 million in total–since its launch eight days ago.
Built on Niantic’s “Real World Gaming” platform, this new app uses real-world locations to encourage players to search in their own environments to find and “catch” Pokémon (yes, those 151 fictional creatures we chased on our TVs in the 90s are now virtually among us in the 21st century).
And it’s not just happening in the U.S.–this phenomenon is worldwide. While I am catching a Pikachu in Frick Park, my brother, who is studying abroad, is catching a Squirtle in the middle of a street in Berlin.
Some quick (and mind-blowing) stats:
- More downloads in one week than Tinder has had in 4 years.
- Active users: Over 60% (U.S.) are using it daily.
- Revenue: $1.6MM per day (it's free, but sells extras).
- Use time: 43 minutes (vs 25 mins/Instagram; 22 mins/Snapchat).
I decided to monitor the Twittersphere on Sysomos (our social listening tool) for some insights. The talk on Twitter tends to be very positive, despite company servers being down on Day 1, concern that the game is being used to “lure in” children and teens, and reports that a player actually found a dead body while pursuing a catch! The tweets indicate a strong sense of comradery between players who are swarming to “Poké Stops” and “Gyms” around the city with their heads buried in their phones.
Some of the review chatter is pretty amusing (“…it asks to find a statue or marker and expects you to WALK over to it? Regardless of the distance?”)–the main draw of the game! And there are the grousers (“No battles? What is this?”), but the fans are fierce defenders (“This game has just come out… Just be patient people. This is an amazing game...”).
As for this Pokémon class of 2016, Pikachu and Charizard appear to be the most talked about Pokémon when mentioned with the game on Twitter, with 128,000 and 110,000 mentions, respectively. More tweets about the game are coming from males, but there’s not a huge difference: it’s a 60/40 split, male/female.
Whether you grew up collecting Pokémon cards and watching Pokémon on TV, or are new to the brand, this game gives everyone something to be excited about. You definitely get the feeling that you “Gotta Catch 'Em All!”