Zenly Lets You Win Against Friends by Staying at Home During COVID-19 Pandemic
Zenly, a location-sharing app owned by Snapchat, has modified its leaderboards to challenge people to stay at home during the coronavirus outbreak. The app usually lets friends share their location with each other, and lets others know when they hang out together. However, because of COVID-19, things have changed and going out is not something anybody should be doing.
Zenly was acquired by Snapchat back in 2017, for a hefty $213 million. The app is similar to how Foursquare’s Swarm app works - primarily around location sharing and checking in together at different places. For its new Stay at Home challenge, Zenly is encouraging people to stay home and top the leaderboard. The leaderboard can be shared on various social networks, along with coronavirus prevention tips now available in the app.
Zenly had also launched a coronavirus lens feature last week. With this feature, users can look on the map and find out how many confirmed or recovered coronavirus cases there are in each country or city, along with data from WHO and other sources. Snapchat has a similar map in its app that shows locations of friends and heat maps for stories around the world, however, it has not added support to show coronavirus related data yet.
All major tech companies like Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Facebook, have been playing their part in spreading awareness, discouraging the spread of misinformation and even donating money and masks to help.
This update by Zenly is a unique example of an app going against its headline feature which is to encourage friends to hang out together. By gamifying isolation, Zenly is spreading COVID-19 awareness and encouraging social distancing to restrict the virus from spreading further. The last thing people need to do during this pandemic is to hang out with each other. While staying at home might be getting boring for a lot of people, using an app like Zenly can help people keep track of one another, and ensure that they are being careful during this pandemic.
Zenly is available as a free app for iOS and Android.