- A Reddit user who goes by Mont713 captured a screenshot of his Pokemon Go app that features a Promos section in the in-game Shop, according to a report in the International Business Times (IBT). Some users never saw the update, while others confirmed its existence but said it was quickly removed. Promos would presumably be entered for discounts on virtual items available for purchase in the Shop.
- The IBT noted that the Promos appearance has spurred more speculation that a major update for the Nintendo/Niantic app is expected in the coming weeks, which might integrate new cooperative play options for users, along with a Legendary Pokemon event.
- IBT additionally reported developer Niantic is introducing server-side updates, including converting thousands of McDonald's locations into Lures for the virtual pocket monsters as part of a "Golden Week" event; however, the McDonald's promotion is only happening in Japan.
It's strange to think Pokemon Go's one-year anniversary — appiversary? — is fast approaching. At launch last July, the game not only turned into a viral sensation with users but also became an early blueprint for marketers looking to leverage augmented reality (AR) technology to bridge digital and physical marketing efforts
AR has since exploded in popularity, especially in the mobile space, with major tech players like Facebook eyeing it as a key component in their future. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted at the company's F8 conference this year that Pokemon Go's success convinced him that most AR applications will be mobile-based as opposed to built for wearables like glasses. He did, however, suggest Nintendo and Niantic's app serves as a "primitive" use case for the technology.
The Promos feature might re-spark some user interest in an app that has indeed seen surprisingly few major updates since going live. There have been a smattering of changes, including introducing more Pokemon to catch and also events around holidays like Halloween, but nothing that's managed to come close to recapturing the game's initial buzz. For marketers, offering up exclusive promo codes for in-game items might be the driver of in-store foot traffic that installing Lures once was.
Even as Pokemon Go's initial hype has cooled, the app retains a healthy enough active user base to continue to attract brands both abroad and stateside, as exemplified in the "Golden Week" promotions with McDonald's.
In December, Niantic partnered with Starbucks to convert 7,800 of the coffee giant's storefronts into PokeStops and Gyms, along with offering a limited-run Pokemon Go Frappuccino. Around the same time, the app also teamed with Sprint to create special Pokemon Go experiences at over 10,000 Sprint, Boost Mobile and Sprint at Radioshack locations nationwide.