What We All Can Learn From Pokemon Go
At this point, anyone with access to a smartphone has heard of Pokemon Go, Nintendo’s augmented-reality game for smartphones. The game requires players to go outside and explore their surroundings in order to find and catch new Pokemon. The app exploded onto the scene, with over 20 million daily active users after only one week in the app store. Since the game’s release on July 6th there have been countless naysayers posting articles and blogs about how the game is only a fad and that its user base will dwindle, but there is one undeniable fact about Pokemon Go. It’s popular. Really popular. But what is it that is so appealing about the app? And how can we use the lessons from its immediate and extraordinary success to improve our own technology and solutions? There are a number of factors that make Pokemon Go more popular than any other app on the market right now, and by identifying these differentiating aspects of the app, we can apply these lessons to our own technology to increase its popularity as well. Broadly stated, three factors that make Nintendo’s app so popular are that it’s mobile, it’s social, and it’s location-specific. The app is mobile, not just in the sense that it is played on a phone and can be used anywhere, but that it also forces players to travel in order to find new Pokemon to catch. Along with mobility, Pokemon go also promotes a sense of community and camaraderie among players. Every user selects a team to join when they sign up that unites them with a large number of other players. There is even a trend starting of large groups of people gathering to hunt Pokemon together. Finally, Pokemon Go is played in the real world. Unlike Candy Crush or Clash of Clans, which exist only in the imaginary world inside your phone, Pokemon Go has characters that you can actually see through your camera, placed in real locations. After all, it’s a lot cooler catching a Pokemon that’s sitting on your kitchen table than one in a virtual world. So how can we take what we learned from Pokemon Go and apply these same popularizing elements to ENS systems? Quite simply, they need to be more like Pokemon Go: mobile, social, and location-specific. It’s critical that any ENS be popular with residents because a notification system is only effective if people actually subscribe to it. After all, what good is sending an alert if no one sees it? Everbridge leverages three different features aimed at making ENS subscription popular with your residents:
- Mobile: The Everbridge mobile app allows officials to send alerts from their mobile phones. The dozens of available message contact paths, including SMS text, phone, and voice, allows residents to receive these alerts on their mobile phones as well. No more buying landline data, now you can alert your residents wherever they are, whenever they need to know.
- Social: The built-in social media option allows an official to blast alerts over their social pages as well, so residents can get alerts even if they aren’t signed-up through Everbridge. Leveraging social media allows residents to connect with each other and share information far further than opt-in based ENS would traditionally be able to provide alone.
- Location-Specific: People generally only take notice when information directly affects or relates to them, so make sure your messages only reach those who will be effected. Everbridge’s polygon feature allows you to only send messages to subscribers within an area you determine to ensure messages reach only the right people.
You can never do too much to make your ENS popular with your residents. The more they opt-in, the easier it will be for you to get critical information out in a timely and effective manner when an emergency strikes. To learn more about how you can make your alerts as popular as Pokemon Go, check out Everbridge’s Mass Notification system.