Programmatic Lunch

Pokémon Go Set to Overtake Twitter

Tim Maytom

pokemon-go
When we reported on the launch of Pokémon Go last week, we figured that one of Nintendo's most successful franchises finally arriving on smartphones would be a hit, but few people were prepared for just how popular that app would prove to be.

The app, which saw a staggered release over the course of last week and the weekend, is already bigger than Tinder, and is poised to overtake Twitter within a few days if its growth rate continues.

According to data from SimilarWeb, as of 8 July, Pokémon Go has been installed on 5.16 per cent of all US Android phones, versus just over two per cent for Tinder.

Looking at daily active users, just over three per cent of Android owners were using the game daily, compared to around 3.5 per cent for Twitter. Given the short time frame involved, it's possible that Pokémon Go has already surpassed Twitter in terms of daily active users.

pokemon-go-plusOf course, the popularity of the new app may wane over time, but the impact it has had on Nintendo can already be measured, with the firm's stock jumping by 23 per cent following the launch, the Japanese firm's best one-day jump since 1983. The surge is estimated to have added $7.5bn (£5.7bn) to the company's value.

It hasn't all been smooth sailing – the game has been beset with frequent server crashes as it struggles to cope with demand, and while the app has only officially been released in the US, New Zealand and Australia, consumers have been using workarounds to get the app working in other countries, adding to the pressure on the servers and causing Nintendo to "pause" the international rollout.

The app is currently free, with revenues generated by microtransactions (30 per cent of which will go to Niantic, the Google spin-off that helped make the game). However, Nintendo also has plans to launch a wearable connected with the game, and there is plenty of potential for marketing tie-ins, for example drawing users to businesses or events by releasing location-specific pokémon.

Nintendo avoided the mobile market for years, focusing instead on producing games and software for its own consoles. Given the success of Pokémon Go and Miitomo, the company's other app, launched earlier this year, we can surely expect additional investment in mobile from the gaming giant.

Don’t forget to enter the Effective Mobile Marketing Awards. The Early Bird deadline for submissions is 22 July. More details here.