Pokemon Go is Nintendo's free augmented reality (AR) game, played on mobile devices. Users or "trainers" hunt for Pokemon characters who are hidden within the real world, through an innovative AR experience. It has already hit Belfast and will be released soon. Expect to see swarms of "trainers" pounding the pavements of the city centre using Pokeballs, Pokestops and Pokegyms in an effort to find the hidden characters.
According to SimiliarWeb, the Android app was installed in over 5% of all Android devices in the US within hours of it being released, surpassing the popular dating app, Tinder. Pokémon Go estimates that it will soon surpass Twitter for app download and daily usage. This is an incredible claim.
Pokémon Go for Business
So how exactly can this be used for business purposes? Well currently, businesses cannot choose to be "Pokestops" or "Pokegyms", however it is clear that these randomly-selected businesses will benefit commercially from increased exposure and trade with the Pokémon Go fans.
Surely the business model of Pokémon Go involves the paid sponsorship by local businesses to become 'Pokestops', inviting fans to search for characters on their business premise. This increased footfall has obvious commercial benefits, depending on the nature of the business. You can imagine a coffee shop being an ideal place to entice people into their premises.
Pokémon Go apparently offers a 'lure module' whereby Pokestops can pay to attract Pokemon fans to the stop for 30 mins. Now you can see how this business model may function. If Nintendo and Niantic can find a means to seamlessly send relevant and targeted Pokémon Go users to specified businesses to hunt for characters and ultimately help these businesses drive sales, they have just revolutionised digital advertising.
It will be very interesting to see if this insanely popular app is a craze or something that can operate on a sustained business model, rivalling and potentially surpassing all other digital advertising.