Pokemon Go: Online Marketing Guys

In just a week’s time, Pokemon Go has become the most successful mobile-app in US history!  The buzz that surrounds it is unprecedented.  Within 24 hours of its release, the game had 21 million active users and Nintendo’s shares shot up by more than 50 percent!  Right now, the estimated revenue from the game is expected to be $1.6 million per day!

On this week’s podcast episode of Online Marketing Guys, co-hosts Bob Turner and Jason Goff discuss this worldwide phenomenon.  You can listen to this episode by clicking Play below.

What is Pokemon Go?

The game is a form of augmented reality.  With it installed on your smartphone, the camera sees the world as it is, but then the app overlays the game’s digital environment.  While playing it, users try to find Pokemon characters and collect them.

Places where characters and prizes can be found are known as Pokestops.  Niantic, the game developer, had collected a database of real-world points of interests.  It was these locations, through their longitude and latitude coordinates, that became designated as Pokestops.  The app uses Google Maps to then identify the Pokestops in the real world.

Some common points of interests include schools, churches, public squares and shopping areas.

Rights Concerns

Pokemon Go also raises some questions about rights.  Since it is a melding of the real world and the virtual, questions over who has the rights of that melded space have arisen.  Property owners are discovering that their land or homes have been designated as Pokestops without their consent.  A man’s home in Massachusetts, which had been a church, was designate a Pokemon Gym. For days, people have been loitering outside his home.

Some Pokestops are in public areas where crowds and disturbances have resulted.  There are several Pokestops in close proximity to each other in a neighborhood in a Sydney, Australia.  It has led to “hundreds” of players milling around a small outdoor area

In Washington DC, the Holocaust Museum was designated as a Pokestop. The museum has released a statement reminding users that playing a game in a memorial to the victims of Nazism is not appropriate.

Privacy Concerns

There were some very real concerns when the app launched over the privacy of a user’s Google account information.  Players could login into the game using their Google accounts.  Through a token used to verify usernames and passwords, there was a possibility that the game and Niantic could gain access to all your Google properties.  Within a few days, though, Niantic, fixed the problem.

The Wrap

Pokemon Go is intended to appeal to the generation that grew up with the original Pokemon products in the 1990s and to get them to share the game with their kids.  It is a simple game, collect characters and things while moving through the real world.  anyone can play it.  From that point of view, it is a brilliant product.

Online Marketing Guys is a production of Social Flair Marketing and JasonGoff.com.  Listen to this episode below.

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Bob Turner is a Small Business Online Marketing Consultant with Social Flair in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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