Pokemon Go

More Pokemon Go, less Snapchat, Instagram? Hit game eats into social media time

It’s all the rage right now, but the big question many in techland are asking is: How long will the Pokemon Gofad last?

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 July, 2016, 8:30am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 July, 2016, 8:30am

Several Pokemon Go players told us they were spending upwards of three to five hours a day on the game at the expense of other apps such as Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram.

Could this be a serious problem for these popular social networks?

Jennifer Cantiller, 22, a student at the University of California, Los Angeles had been spending hours a day on Snapchat. Now, she signs out of her social media accounts to have more space on the phone for Pokemon Go to load. The app is a memory hog that needs all the resources it can get. “Less social media and more Pokemon,” she says.

The game, an update on the Pokemon playing cards, TV show and early black-and-white video game of the 1990s, has taken the US by storm, mixing augmented reality with modern game play to let players locate and collect characters from the Pokemon world, which appear in real-life locations.

The game has been No. 1 on Apple’s iTunes and Google Play’s app charts for the past week.

In less than a week since its release, market researcher SurveyMonkey says it has become the most popular mobile game ever, based on 21 million daily users. That tops the previous winner, Candy Crush Saga, which was cited at 20 million users.

It’s been downloaded more than 20 million times, according to Sensor Tower.

The most downloaded mobile game of all time is the Angry Birds series, which maker Rovio says has pulled in more than 3.5 billion downloads. The other big one is Candy Crush, which maker King Digital in 2013 said had more than 500 million downloads. The company hasn’t updated numbers since.

Either way, it has a long way to catch up.

Long term, social media apps such as Snapchat and Instagram have nothing to worry about – the Go game players will eventually move on to something new, says Mike Vorhaus, an analyst with Frank Magid Associates.

“There will be a small impact,” short term, for the apps, he adds. “I can also see less binging on TV right now for Netflix and Hulu.”

The big question many in techland have been asking is how long the Pokemon Go fad can last. Past game smashes such as Angry Birds and Candy Crush eventually petered out.

“The real moment of truth is day 30,” says Vorhaus. “In mobile gaming, it’s how many people are still playing on the 30th day. Typically, it’s the first week and month. We’ll know a lot in 30 days.”

Associated Press