In the last week Augmented reality (AR) has gone from a ‘so close I can almost touch it’ … to a serious game-changer.

If you’ve managed to get through the last week without seeing colleagues and friends glued to their phones, jumping over fences, congregating at landmarks and doing anything humanly possible to catch virtual Pokémon then you are one of the few.

Although it’s not yet been released in the UK users are resorting to online .apk downloads to get their hands on the Pokémon GO app. The augmented reality game is a modern take on the classic in which players collect and trade pocket-sized monsters, the difference being, this time, Pokémon can be found in the real world using GPS and AR.

In the US, where the app was released just over a week ago, the number of Pokémon GO daily active users is growing fast and on course to overtake Twitters numbers.

v twitter

So what does a mobile game that’s spreading like a pandemic have to with publishing? In my opinion, there are two very important lessons that can be learnt.

Re-think everything you thought you knew about your readers

  • Never underestimate or assume anything about them –
  • Stereotype goes that –

If your content is good enough readers will follow

  • lots of talk about you have to find your readers – true, like most things it’s about balance, readers still rely on industry leaders to invest in new approaches and ways for them to consume content. but if Pokémon GO shows us anything it’s if you’re willing to push the boundaries and try new platforms readers will give back and follow your lead

The success of Pokemon doesn’t mean you should jump on the augmented reality bandwagon – it means you should have a serious look at what you thought you knew before and find your own innovative approach to giving your readers the credit they deserve and getting your content out there in the right ways, because in the end AR tech hasn’t changed much in the last week but it’s been used in the right way.

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