The rise of Pokémon Go was inevitably going to bring with it the interests of brands and businesses eager to piggyback on its success by utilizing it in their own marketing efforts.
A new Twitter account from the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transport Authority dedicated to the gaming craze that is currently sweeping the land may at first seem like a baseless ploy to court customers.
A closer look at the PokémonGoMetro account reveals that it could, in fact, be a useful resource for LA-based players. After all, Pokémon Go is about venturing into the great outdoors, and the subway is one of the most popular forms of transportation. Therefore, there is a viable connection between the two disparate entities. Consequently, Metro may have stumbled upon a great way to engage its commuters.
In terms of activity, the Twitter account retweets Pokémon sightings, both on the Metro and at local stations around Los Angeles. One of its most popular original tweets thus far reveals the apparent location of a super rare Pokémon known as Mariachichu.
— PokémonGOMetro (@PokemonGOMetro) July 13, 2016
The biggest issue for the organization may end up being passenger safety. Concerns regarding the well-being of Pokémon Go players have been raised elsewhere, with reports of muggings tarnishing the harmless outdoor exploits the AR game encourages. To this end, the Twitter account does warn users in its bio to “remember to be alert at all times [and] stay aware of your surroundings.” A number of the tweets quoted by the account also urge customers to refrain from playing in certain locations, including attempting to catch Pokémon on train tracks.
“We want to crowdsource as many photos as possible. We want to see what weird and wacky things people are seeing and to share them with us,” Anna Chen, public information officer for Metro, told the Los Angeles Times.
Metro claims that its next step is to create a fusion map, similar to Google Maps, that allows players on board buses and trains to find their nearest Pokéstops, and gyms. Consider this a PSA, Pokémon hunters of LA: You now have a great new tool to aid you in your quest.