Gotta catch 'em all: 5 facts that prove Pokémon Go is eating the world

More people are looking for Dragonites and Hitmonlees than hot dates.

It’s official. Pokémon Go is taking the world by storm.

The long dreamed-of Pokémon augmented reality game—whose roots may have been in a Google April Fool’s prank from 2014—landed on Android and iOS on July 6. Less than a week later, it's become a worldwide phenomenon despite the fact that it’s officially available only in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.

Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game created by Nintendo in partnership with Niantic—the former Google property behind the augmented reality game Ingress. Basically, you take your phone, walk all over your neighborhood, and collect Pokémon that you find there in augmented reality. (It might be wise to take a few extra cell phone chargers too.)

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Mobile and web insights company SimilarWeb recently published a few fascinating statistics about how the world is receiving Pokémon Go. Here’s how Nintendo’s first major mobile game is dominating smartphone users around the globe.

1. Already bigger than Tinder

vs tinder

Pokémon Go came out on July 6th, and by July 7th it was on more Android phones in the U.S. than dating app Tinder, according to SimilarWeb. A day later, on July 8th, a whopping 5.16 percent of all Android devices in the US were rocking Pokémon Go.

2. Pokémon Go is eating your brain

A staggering 60 percent of Android users in the US are playing the game every single day, SimilarWeb says. That is amazing, and the game is apparently matching Twitter in terms of daily user numbers.

3. Nearly an hour a day

As of July 8, Pokémon Go players on Android were playing an average of 43 minutes and 23 seconds per day, according to SimilarWeb. That’s almost the average amount of time people spend on Facebook every day.

time v social

As with any average, that means some people are playing the game for hours, while others are only touching it for a few minutes. Put those users together, however, and you get a huge average use—more time than Instagram, Messenger, Snapchat, and WhatsApp.

On the one hand, it may not be surprising that a game takes up so much time—especially a new game, and one that encourages you to leave it open while you wander the world. It will be interesting to see where Pokémon Go is a month from now.

4. If you upload it, they will come

apk

The rest of the world wasn’t willing to wait for Pokémon Go’s official international rollout. When APKMirror uploaded the app to their servers, users came looking for it in droves. (APKMirror is an unofficial site where you can download Android apps (APK packages) and sideload them onto your phone.) SimilarWeb says APKMirror received around 600,000 visits on July 5. That number jumped to 4 million on July 6.

Between early June and July 7, nearly 20 percent of desktop search traffic for the site came from the search query, “pokemon go apk.”

5. Pokémon Go fallout

Pokémon Go isn’t all fun and games, however. The app is also having some odd side effects. We recently reported that particularly savvy criminals were luring unsuspecting gamers to remote locations in order to rob them. Online criminals are also attempting to lure unsuspecting Android users into downloading fake versions of the game loaded with malware—something to keep in mind if you resort to an unofficial download in a country where Pokémon Go hasn't been released yet.

Gizmodo, meanwhile, created a hilarious compilation of people complaining on Twitter that they were sore after overusing their atrophied muscles to collect Pokémon all over town.

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Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
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