Pokemon Go is currently bigger than Android, iPhone, and porn

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You may have noticed iMore doing a ton of Pokemon Go coverage lately. I may have noticed you noticing. Here's the deal: We've been covering Pokemon Go since there was a Pokemon Go to cover, but after it launched it quickly became apparent it was going to be big. Really big. The biggest iPhone-related product in a long time big. We started getting flooded with questions and comments and so, in typical iMore fashion, we leapt into action.

My colleague, Serenity Caldwell, deserves more than the lion's share of credit. She started playing and then, almost immediately, started writing. When we saw the reaction, it was an easy decision to treat it the way we treat all major launches — by covering it as best we can.

So, just like you saw the iMore home page lit up with Apple Watch on its launch, and iPhone 6s, and iPad Pro, and Apple TV, and iPhone SE, this time you saw it lit up with Pokemon Go.

And I'm guessing you'll be seeing it almost everyone for a while. Current internet trends are showing Pokemon Go well past Android, passed iPhone, and right up there with porn in terms of online interest. (As you can safely assume, porn has a ton of online interest.)

What it all means

Why Pokemon Go is hitting so hard so fast will likely be the subject of a ton of opinion over the next long while. With Flappy Bird, the last great casual gaming phenomena, it was rage-of-mouth marketing. Pokemon is popular, augmented reality (AR) is cool, there's scarcity in availability, there's ego gratification in getting the best pocket monsters, there's the thrill of being part of something, especially when it gets you out and about where you can meet more people who are part of it too, and the list goes on.

I can't say I understand it, but I respect it. Elitists may think Pokemon Go isn't as important to cover as iOS 10 or iPhone 7 or Tesla or whatever else would otherwise be dominating tech homepages everywhere, but it absolutely is. There's no one smarter than our readers and our community, and when they — when you — tell us there's something worth caring about, we listen. And then we bust ourselves making sure you get the absolute best coverage of it possible. And that includes Pokemon Go.

Some might roll their eyes so hard. Others might think it reason to burn the internet down. Still others might find ways to use it for harm. But I'm an optimist. If it brings a smile to a face, if it encourages us get out and about, if it helps us make a connection with our fellow human beings, if it lets us rediscover the sheer joy of being children and having adventures again, then more of it, please.

I'm also paranoid, though, so I find myself wondering, who exactly owns all this data that's being recorded by Pokemon Go? The Pokémon Company, who owns the franchise? Nintendo, who co-owns the Pokémon Company? Niantec, who developed the game and it's location-based predecessor, Ingress? Niantec's former owner, Google? And whomever owns it, what does it mean for our privacy and security?

Pokémon Go isn't just a game, after all. It's a social network, and one that's already speculated to be surpassing Twitter in active users on Android. Let that sink in for a moment.

I don't know how much longer Pokemon Go will be hot for or how much more we'll need to cover — I'll let you tell us both of those things — but we'll be keeping it in our sights. Along with iOS 10, macOS 10, tvOS 10, and watchOS 3, along with iPhone 7, Apple Watch 2, and whatever else comes next, we'll continue to bring you more of everything you care up. Sometimes in short bursts, sometimes in longer mixes.

Catching up

I've always been more of a Digimon person than Pokemon, and I've got a ton of new stuff from Apple to write about, but I'm glad you gave me the time to learn about "catching 'em all". The worst thing in the world is not getting when you don't get it. It's death for a writer — but only if you stop being a reader. That's what makes all of you so critically important.

So, I may even sneak out and train a few Pokemon of my own this week. That'll totally help me get my iOS 10 review done on time, right?

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

33 Comments
  • For the love of God...enough with the Pokemon articles..you guys have ruined the site. Sent from the iMore App
  • Why its generating page clicks, which allows articles. Sadly this is the future of media... Once something gets that big it is hard to turn away from.
  • Thank you!!! I couldn't believe it when I jumped on this morning and saw probably 20 posts in a row on this idiotic game.
  • What makes the game idiotic? I'm not playing it, but I'm not angry at the millions of people who are. It's a social network and it looks like it's almost as active on mobile as Twitter. No one is forced to play it, but dismissing it probably says more about us than them.
  • I'm not playing either, but it is stupid to call it idiotic. I'm guessing that guy also has no idea what the game is about. I think Pokemon as a brand is a little silly but I'm sure the game is entertaining. Plus it gets people out there and active. I'd be curious to see Apple Watch activity numbers since launch. I think Niantic deserves more credit than Nintendo though. Ingress is the obvious predecessor to this. Nintendo just happens to partially own the intellectual property used in the new game.
  • I considered pokemon silly since it came about but I'm in my 40s. My daughter is into it though but not too much (not like minecraft). This latest Go craze hasn't gotten her attention. It seems a cross between geocaching and collecting pokemon. But my wife and I did that to death when geocaching first came out. We're kind of done with that.
  • There is a difference between covering a topic and overdoing it. In my personal opinion you guys have overdone it.
    To those saying just skip the articles. We do. At least, I do. Problem is, I have to scroll through a lot of Pokemon titles just to find one Apple title on an Apple enthusiast site! I have nothing against Pokemon. It is not for me. And when I come to iMore, I clearly came for Apple related news.
    Yes, you will get a lot of views by Pokemon "pass through" fans who got you through search engines. However, the fad will fade away. They will leave (this is not a Pokemon site after all).
    My point is, cover Pokemon all you want but do not neglect your bread and butter.
  • I'm guessing you didn't read the article? It kind of explains why there is such coverage.
  • Like I said, Pokemon Go is currently the most popular trend on the internet. If you own a bar, and a football game lets out, you don't close the bar. You call for more stock. I also dislike the idea that a game can "ruin" something. That's closed minded. I don't particularly care about Pokemon, but I get that millions of people love it. They're not wrong, and I respect their enjoyment of it.
  • I don't use Macbook, I don't use Apple Watch, I don't play this game. My RSS feed shows up all the news related to these all the time, but I never complained about anything. Just skip if you don't like, no one forces anyone to read. You can't ask a site to just report about things you like. Perhaps use some RSS reader that can filter out keywords.
  • Did you even read the article? People want to hear about it. They are catering to the majority of users, not the small, eye rolling, minority. -- Posted via Titanium Galaxy S7 edge --
  • Here are some ideas for future Pokemon Go articles... *Pokemon Go Ultimate Guide*
    *How to catch them all while doing laundry *
    *How to roller derby while playing Pokemon Go* Of course I'm joking and I understand the revenue potential, but at least put all the articles in one place. Sent from the iMore App
  • Revenue for web sites, at least when it comes to ads, is based on attention. There's only revenue potential because people want to read about Pokemon right now. Millions and millions of people. More than want to read about any other single subject. So, look at it this way: It's what most people want help with right now on their iPhones, and that's literally iMore's job to provide.
  • It's ridiculous the amount of idiotic people who keep complaining about it. I'm gonna do same thing you people are doing when new Apple Watch comes out and feed is flooded by it. GROW UP
  • The difference is this is an Apple enthusiast website... Not a Pokemon site. If that difference is not obvious to you, it kinda explains a lot.
  • Believe it or not, Pokemon Go is played mostly on, guess what, an Apple device!
  • You Don't Like The Pokèmon Go coverage? Nobody is forcing you to use iMore. MacWorld and iPhone Hacks are other options. I don't mind the coverage. It's a good game and a great way to get your kids to move around instead of being locked down to their computers and phones. Sent from the iMore App
  • My only problem with Pokemon Go is that this is the tenth article I've read about it and still none of them actually tell me what Pokemon Go is, how it's played (if it's played), or why I should like it. Someone write an article that uses the standard journalistic technique of *explaining* the premise or *describing* the item in question in the first paragraph, please. This is something you should have learned in your first journalism class (if you actually took any).
  • We did that early, and updated it yesterday! http://www.imore.com/pokemon-go
  • Couldn't you just roll this stuff up into one big feature? It's been all you've been talking about for three days.
  • That's because it's insanely popular. Supply and demand
  • There's a video on all of this.
  • I'm not a gamer, have never played pokemon and have no desire to do so. That being said, as a nintendo stockholder, thank you for endlessly promoting this. My future retired self thanks you too.
  • Now THAT was a reasonable response. I like your thinking.
  • Well thanks for always having Canada waiting for things like this whole everyone else getting the experience beforehand
  • This too will pass. No need to hype it much longer.
  • This Pokemon game sucks donkey *****!! Not a good game overrated Sent from the iMore App
  • It's a great game, what don't you like?
  • Pokemon. ****. iPhone. Android. Quite an interesting combination.
  • The censored word is supposed to be p{o{r{n and not F or something.
  • Is Pokemon the reason the U.S space program is losing ground to China, Japan and India? Sent from the iMore App
  • I understand this is an important topic in the US like Trump or Clinton, although I don't consider your readers US-only. I don't understand why this topic is primarily an iOS topic. This game is available for Android as well, right? And although the market share of iOS in USA is way bigger than in Europe, the majority of Pokemon Go players must be Android users.
  • Rene is from Canada. Sent from the iMore App