Snapchat’s location sharing app acquisition Zenly has gamified shelter-in-place during the COVID-19 outbreak. Today the app launched its Stay At Home challenge that shows a leaderboard of which friends have spent the most percentage of the last three days in their homes. Users can see who’s social distancing the best and share stickers of the scoreboard and coronavirus prevention tips to Snapchat, Instagram, and other apps.
Location apps like Zenly typically encourage users to go out and explore the world suddenly lost most of their purpose due to widespread order for people to self-quarantine. They even might have incentivized people to disobey those orders. But by building a game around isolation, Zenly could make it cool to show off how you’re NOT grabbing coffee, visiting friends, or taking a walk down Main St.
Zenly’s co-founder announced the feature this morning, and credited a tweet I posted on March 15th calling for developers to build a gamified quarantine app as the inspiration. The quick work and rapid deployment was spearheaded by Danny Trinh, the renowned designer of Path who joined the company last year.
— Antoine Martin (@an21m) March 24, 2020
Beyond Zenly’s version of “Pokemon No Go”, the app is also offering up tips for containing coronavirus and a link to World Health Organization info. You can also attach a surgical mask to your profile pic to let your friends know you’re taking social distancing seriously.
What could really make a difference in convincing people to do their part to fight this worldwide pandemic, though, is Zenly’s coronavirus lens for its map. It lets you look around the world and see the number of confirmed cases and recoveries in each country or state.
Knowing that this is happening around the globe might reinforce the gravity of our situation and that people can’t just go about their normal routine. We all have to battle this together, even if we’re stuck apart.
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