L after L, the Nike SNKRS app crushes dreams like no other. The worst part is, you don’t know who to blame — fate, fortune, or robots.
Every SNKRS drop average Joes like you and me are put up against state-of-the-art bot technology, which is usually employed by resellers. And though you remain hopeful, the inevitable Didn’t Get ‘Em always hurts.
In effort to be transparent, Nike has reported that the SNKRS app receives as many as 12 billion bot entries per month, making up about 10%-50% of all entries, depending on the popularity of the shoe. Nike is well aware of the community’s frustration with the app — and Nike hopes to change that.
By adding an additional screen to its launch experience, the SNKRS app now outlines its bot protection measures. Nike wants you to know when and how they remove bots and validate entries. If you haven’t already seen the new screen yet, you will soon, as Nike continues to roll out the graphical user interface over the next couple of months.
Bot protection is not new at Nike, as the Swoosh has had anti-bot technology installed for some time now, which can be seen through innovative initiatives like SNKRS Pass or even exclusive access.
The SNKRS pass is similar to a SNKRS draw as it’s a lottery system that picks winners at random, but the SNKRS pass is only open to users in a specific area, with the winners required to pick up in-person.
Exclusive access works on a similar system as the app prompts certain users the option to purchase certain sneakers via an inbox invitation, based on previous user activity in the app, such users that have previously purchased or submitted an entry for a specific previous release. In a way, exclusive access kind of rewards you for all your previous L’s.
Other bot protection features include SNKRS scratcher and SNKRS cam. Both features are interactive and require the user to actively engage in ways that only a bot can dream of. The SNKRS scratcher requires users to “scratch off” an image within the app. Meanwhile, the SNKRS cam requires users to take a photo of a specific image within the app.
Nike claims to have a pretty high success rate of removing bots and actively identifies accounts exhibiting bot activity during every launch. However, bot technology is constantly evolving, so it is possible that a small fraction of bot entries may be successful for any given launch, but Nike heightens its defenses for its most popular releases.