It's a simple gaming app, but industry experts say Pokemon Go's surge in popularity is proof that consumers are well and truly augmented reality (AR)-ready - so expect a lot of imitators.
New data from SimlarWeb released this week shows Pokemon Go is on track to overtake Twitter in its daily active users, and has already been installed on more US Android phones than Tinder. While the app is only officially available in the US, Australia and New Zealand, uptake has already been exponential. In fact, only two days after the app's release, it was already installed on 5.16 per cent of all Android devices across the States.
About 60 per cent of those who have downloaded the app are using it daily. This amounts to roughly 3 per cent of all US Android users, already catching up to the 3.5 per cent US Android Twitter user average. And with the data showing the app's popularity set to rise, Pokemon Go could quickly overtake Twitter.
According to top gaming and AR experts, such a successful integration of AR shows that if the technology is launched well, it can have powerful implications for consumer engagement. While augmented reality has been toyed with in recent years, Pokemon Go is helping this technology finally go mainstream with graphic quality and user experience design the industry hasn't seen before.
"More often than not, consumers are setting the standard and making demands when it comes to customer experience and engagement," Buzinga app development director and co-founder, Logan Merrick, told CMO. "Pokemon Go has come along and further boosted consumers' expectations of brands. The good news for companies that have been dabbling in AR is that the market will now be more receptive and open-minded to how this form of technology can be used."
For other businesses, it's time to realise the experience bar has been raised, Merrick said.
"If they have a mobile presence, they need to recognise consumers are increasingly going to be expecting more innovation, deeper engagement and higher quality experiences from those mobile platforms," he said. "If they don't have a mobile presence at all, the missed opportunities couldn't be clearer."
Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) CEO, Ron Curry, described Pokémon Go as the perfect storm of technology, nostalgia and public acceptance. The icing on the cake for Pokemon Go, Merrick continued, is being able to tap into an entire generation of highly digitally savvy mobile users who already have an emotional connection to the Pokemon franchise.
"The app has taken off with smartphone users in their late 20s and early 30s, who were obsessed with Pokemon back in primary school," he said. "That warm, fuzzy feeling of nostalgia means people aren't just obsessed with the app as a game and the AR experience, they also love posting every step of their adventures on social media, in the office and at home."
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