If you haven’t seen groups of people wandering about (seemingly aimlessly), looking at their phones, then you must be living in a cave. There’s a reason behind this madness: Pokemon Go. Yes, everything old is new again and the ’90s are back—Pokemon is once again an enormous hit, and now entirely encapsulated on your smartphone.
Pokemon Go is a smartphone game that allows players to explore the real world and capture Pokemon (cartoon character animal-sort-of things) as they go. They could be anywhere—in a neighbor’s yard, on the subway or on top of the Sydney Opera House. And as popular as Pokemon was nearly two decades ago, it’s even more so now: so popular that Pokemon Go has already surpassed the dating app Tinder in downloads—and is poised to outdo Twitter.
According to data from SimilarWeb, the app has already been installed on more Androids in the U.S. than Tinder, which has proven itself to be insanely popular. As of July 8, 5.16 percent of all U.S. Android phones featured Pokemon Go—compared to just over 2 percent for Tinder.
And now, according to an article from Business Insider, the app could be set to outdo the social network Twitter. What counts with smartphone apps is something called “daily active users,” which is pretty self explanatory: It’s a metric that measures how many smartphone users actually open an app on a given day. And again, on July 8, over 3 percent of Android users were playing Pokemon Go daily. Comparatively, Twitter gets about 3.5 percent of users. And numbers don’t seem to be slowing down in the slightest as more users install the game.
One of the coolest part of this Pokemon madness is that it’s getting people off the couch and out in the world. Aside from heading out to look for Pokemon, some of the “eggs” will hatch only while you are walking. And not only is pounding pavement good for physical health but some players are reporting a boost in their mental health as well. Some of the other benefits players are reporting include meeting new people and learning new things about their communities, as Pokestops sometimes include historical monuments or landmarks.
Somewhat ironically, all of this hype has actually resulted in a worse user experience. Gamers experience frequent crashes and the app is somewhat buggy as its servers are overloaded. For now, it’s only available in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, but the rest of the world should expect to be finding Charmanders on the streets shortly.