How Pokémon GO travels from virtual to real data world?

by July 25, 2016

Big Data has been driving the analytical revolution across all the sectors including social media for the past few years. We see a massive increase in data every day with the growing user base across social media and mobile platforms. Innovation happens so rapidly that predicting the future sometime seems arduous. The aggressive adoption of Pokémon GO is one such example which is making headlines globally.

Pokémon GO has become an overnight gaming sensation and is giving a neck to neck competition to some of the leading social networking apps. It has already surpassed Tinder and Omegle in downloads and Twitter in daily active. Online conversation volume for the Pokémon brand grew 2,897 percent in June. The app has over 21 million active users in the US. So you can imagine the amount of data it is generating considering it was launched a few days ago (on 6th July 2016) in only three countries-the US, Australia, and New Zealand. It is a location-based, multiplayer reality game where you interact with virtual objects in your physical surroundings using your smartphone.

The application tracks where its users are going, what they do along their way and how fast they travel. With the exponential rise in the use of this app, the creator of the application, Niantic has an access to the geographical information of the users and what they do daily. This behavioural information can be used in many ways by the firm. The data generated by Pokémon GO can be used by marketers to personalise their user experience and know their buying priorities. So, it should not be a surprise if you receive a message at a local shopping center that there is a new art gallery or food joint next to it.

Oscar-winning director of Platoon, Oliver Stone said, “They’re data-mining every person in this room for information as to what you’re buying, what you like, and above all, your behaviour. Pokémon Go kicks into that. But this is everywhere. It’s what some people call surveillance capitalism. It’s the newest stage. It’s not for profit in the beginning, but it becomes for profit in the end”.

With the meteoric rise in popularity of Pokémon Go and the worldwide release ahead, I am pretty sure that this is the beginning of something really big. Not only you would see people holding their phones at arm’s length wandering around but also there would be a lot of key developments happening in the telecom domain. The rate at which the data is consumed by this application is high. As a result, users will have to revise their data plans in order to fulfil their lust for this game.

Also, as we hand over our personal information to the Pokémon Go, concerns about data privacy and security is expected to arise. Since the data will also be accessed by third-part providers, it may compromise the users’ online security. Under the terms of Pokémon Go’s privacy policy, Niantic mentions that the company could potentially sell the personal data it acquires, and considers players’ personal information to be a business asset. With this in mind, users need to read the privacy policy carefully before signing up to the app.

However, keeping the security concerns aside, I would definitely say, the mobile game is here to stay in the long run and would also influence the IT industry significantly. This is quite evident from the popularity of the app which surpassed both Tinder and Twitter. Tinder was launched back in 2012; Twitter was born in 2006 – almost a decade ago. “Pokemon Go” came out last month:). So it will be interesting to see how the developments pan out ahead, let keep a watch!!