What Pokemon Go & Snapchat Have That Angry Birds Never Did?

Jim Watson / AFP / Getty http://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2016/07/Pokemon-Go/491159/#img10

In full transparency I was born in 1981, I’m a proud pager wearing millennial and was a massive Nintendo user growing up but missed the Pokemon craze back then and have only taken up the game because of my serious FOMO and my desire to better understand the augmented and location based data being served up by the app. (Want to understand more from a fans view checkout my buddy Vincenzo Landino post on how businesses can leverage Pokemon Go!)

With that being said I completely understand why so many are addicted to this game and while sitting at a Chic-Fil-A with my daughters this week I interviewed a group of people playing and the passion for playing was matched by the 11 year old & 55 year old grandfather which made me love the game even more!

Gary Vaynerchuk highlighted the role of Technology and Nostalgia in the Pokemon Go success and I agree especially with this quote:

“If anything, tech like this (Pokémon GO) proves that the mobile device has become the remote control to our lives.”

But I would also add that the mobile device is our remote to all realities from real world to augmented to digital to virtual, ultimately providing the PARTICIPATORY conversation aspect missing in all traditional gaming, media and broadcasting.

When working with brands I focus most of my strategy on the mindset shift needed to embrace real-time participation with the community matched with content created at the right-time. The mindset shift highlights 3 critical changes being driven by the consumer of today and the Pokemon Go players of tomorrow:

  1. Access
  2. Perfection is an illusion
  3. Control is impossible.

I like to think of it in comparison to a game that also had massive growth and became a household name Angry Birds.

Angry Birds Traditional — Pokemon Go Participatory Future

Angry Birds Mobile Game Without Mobility or Participation

Angry Birds is traditional in the sense that all the levels, interaction and control is predetermined by the game creators. Although the game is on the mobile device it doesn’t embrace MOBILITY rather takes game interaction and functionality we are used to on gaming consoles or computers and makes it work on the small screen.

This is very similar to what traditional broadcast and media companies are doing with live streaming and social video. They’re missing out on the features and benefits of mobility including GPS, bluetooth, ability to play anywhere while doing anything, motion sensor/accelerometer, gyroscope and other functionality that is only increasing with each smartphone upgrade.

Pokemon Go Leverages Mobility & Participation Without Social or Chat Functionality! (yet)

Pokemon Go has created real-world offline interactions and conversations even without chat or social aspects being integrated into the app itself. (I believe this will be a component added very soon as the Twitch community is proof social chat conversations while playing & watching games is a massive desire of today’s gamers!). Pokemon Go creators are facilitating an experience within the game but unlike Angry Birds aren’t controlling every player’s path to success or even how or where the consumer participates.


With the growth of Snapchat and live streaming platforms Periscope, Facebook Live, YouTube Live and many others, the main component of the growth has to do with the consumer of the content as much as it does the creator on video.

Over the past 9 years our digital connections & digital desires have transformed thanks to the growth of cloud computing, social media networks and the smartphone. I believe we are now seeing a massive shift, no longer focused on “what” this technology can do, rather “why” it will transform our life experiences and “how” we can leverage it to accomplish our life’s missions and ultimately grow as people.

We > Me

We as humans want to participate in every experience we consume and we want to consume it where and how we want so that we ultimately can become better ME’s! So it doesn’t matter if it’s a game like Pokemon Go or the TV show Mr.Robot, who released all of its shows on Snapchat and leveraged Facebook live all week to give fans access to the cast prior to the season debut, it’s time for every brand in every industry to ThinkLikeAFan or maybe even ThinkLikePokemonGo!

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originally posted on my website at: http://www.isocialfanz.com/pokemongo-participatory-content/