Location-sharing app Zenly flips around service to gamify home quarantine

Location-sharing app Zenly is gamifying staying at home in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, encouraging people to be ‘social’ about not going anywhere.

Location-sharing app Zenly has flipped around its service in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, instead encouraging people to be social about how much they're staying at home.

The app's Stay At Home challenge tracks how much of a user's time is spent at home by analysing the user's location data.

Users can also compete against their friends on the service on a three-day leaderboard, to see who's taking the movement control order (MCO) most seriously.

Zenly CEO Antoine Martin announced the feature, crediting a TechCrunch reporter for the idea to gamify home quarantine.


"While spending too much time at home could be perceived as uncool, we wanted to flip the narrative to make it something that our community would be proud of and do our part in stopping the spread," Martin told the tech news site.

Putting the social in social distancing, users can also boast about their homebound behaviour through Zenly's mother company Snapchat, or other social media.

The app is also trying to keep users up-to-date on the Covid-19 situation, providing advice from the World Health Organisation and a map feature that lets users see the spread of the disease across the world, based on data from various trackers and news services.

This approach by Zenly encourages users to keep using their app, something which might now be challenging for users of location-sharing apps like Fourquare or Facebook's check-in function to do, as authorities are asking the public to stay home as much as possible.

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