Pokémon GO is seeing engagement 45% higher than Snapchat

Steven Loeb · July 13, 2016 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/467b

The game also has more DAUs than Twitter, and is being played by 6% of Android users in the U.S.

If you've been spending any time on social media lately, then you know that Pokémon GO is the latest fad to take over the world, and your feed. 

I haven't played the game, but apparently it's very addicting. It has people so glued to their phones, in fact, that the game now has a higher engagement rate than established social media apps, like Facebook and Twitter, according to data out from SensorTower, a mobile app store marketing intelligence company. 

On Monday, the average iOS user was spending over 33 minutes playing Pokémon GO, roughly 33 percent more time than the 22 minutes being spent on Facebook, and 45 percent more than the roughly 18 minutes being spent on Snapchat and Twitter.

It was also more than double the amount of time being spent inside Instagram.

That's not the only milestone the game has reached. Late last week, information technology company SimilarWeb released a report, showing that Pokémon GO had surpassed Tinder in the number of daily average users, and was already closing in on Twitter.

So it's not a surprise that the company told TechCruch that the game finally blew past Twitter's DAUs as of Monday, and is now being played 5.92 percent of Android users in the United States every day. Only two countries have a higher percentage of DAUs: New Zealand, with 6.6 percent, and Austrailia, with 7.98 percent. 

(VatorNews has reached out to SimilarWeb to confirm these figures independently. We will update this story if we learn more.)

In fact, according to SurveyMonkey, at its peak DAUs, Pokémon GO is now the "biggest mobile game in U.S. history," surpassing Candy Crush Saga in 2013 and Draw Something in 2012. 

There are still other games that have higher engagement rates, though, as SensorTower pointed out, with Pokémon GO ranking third behing Game of War, which users spend two hours a day playing, and our old favorite Candy Crush Saga, which has people playing 43 minutes a day. But for a game as new as this one to already coming in third place is pretty amazing. 

The problems with augmented reality games

There's no denying that Pokémon GO has captured our attention right now, but it has also exposed some issues with augmented reality game play. 

Pokémon GO is a game that centers around augmented reality. Players walk around in the real world to order to move their avatar in the game. A player will encounter a Pokémon, using the camera their mobile device, which displays an image of a Pokémon as though it really exists. The object of the game is to then capture those Pokémon.

On top of people being mugged by those taking advantage of users being in unfamilar locations, while also not paying attention to their surroundings, there has also been talk of a potential violation of privacy rights, which Minnesota Senator Al Franken outlined in a letter he sent to John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, the company behind Pokémon GO, on Tuesday.

He gave the company until August 12 to respond, but the company has already attempted to fix at least one issue that Franken mentioned, in which Niantic was requesting full access for users signing into the game through their Google account. Full access gave the company the ability see a user's Gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive and Google Calendar. 

Niantic has stated that it didn't mean to request full access, and that all it was accessing was a player's Google username and email address. The app has now been updated to fix the problem.

Another issue that has popped up has involved where exactly the Pokémon within the game can be found.

The game uses Google Maps API to place the characters in real world settings, but doesn't yet seem to discriminate about where exactly they will show up. That means that players have begun finding digital animated characters in inappropriate places, like the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.

(Image source: suitlesspursuits.com)

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